Tory MP: Investigate the accountants over the collapse of HBOS

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Regulators should reopen an investigation into KPMG, the accounting firm for defunct bank HBOS, according to a leading Conservative lawmaker.

Andrew Tyrie said in a letter to the Finincial Reporting Council: “Bearing in mind the level of public financial support and losses to shareholders, it appears unlikely that the HBOS case does not clear the hurdle required to trigger a thorough re-examination.”

“It is now essential — in the interests of public confidence — that the FRC get on with this investigation, and without delay,” said Tyrie, who is the chairman of the influential Treasury Committee.

HBOS, which owned the Halifax and Bank of Scotland brands, suffered heavy losses in the 2008 financial crisis and neared collapse as its funding was cut off by the credit crunch.

It had to be rescued by a combination of a public bailout and a merger with Lloyds TSB, costing the taxpayer around £20 billion ($30 billion) in the early part of 2009.

So far, only one person — former HBOS wholesale banking chief Peter Cummings — has been fined and banned from working in the City by regulators investigating the collapse.

The FRC isn’t the only regulator to feel Tyrie’s wrath after the collapse of HBOS, the Financial Services Authority has also got a blast.

In 2013 Tyrie said: “From 2004 up until the latter part of 2007, the FSA was ‘not so much the dog that didn’t bark as the dog barking up the wrong tree’.”

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