Remember the HBOS collapse? Regulators are finally publishing their report into what happened

After a two-year wait, UK regulators are finally publishing their report into what led to the failure of HBOS and who should get the blame for it on Thursday.

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.

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 ($US30 billion) in the early part of 2009.

In 2013, a parliamentary commission said that responsibility for the bank’s collapse should lie with the former Chairman, Lord Stevenson, and the ex-chief executives, Sir James Crosby and Andy Hornby.

Until Thursday, the former executives have escaped censure by the Prudential Regulation Authority and Financial Conduct Authority.

The report will also look at the role of the regulator at the time — the Financial Services Authority — and to what extent it could have prevented the financial calamity.

It’s unlikely former regulators will escape unscathed. Lawmaker Andrew Tyrie, who led the parliament’s commission on banking standards, said in 2013 that: “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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