Former HBOS chief to give up knighthood and part of pension
Former Halifax Bank of Scotland (HBOS) Chief Executive, Sir James Crosby, has offered to give up his knighthood and also 30 percent of his pension after last week’s damning report by the Parliamentary Commission on Banking Standards criticised him for the bank’s collapse.
The report described Sir James as the “architect of the strategy that set the course for disaster” and held him responsible, along with former chairman Lord Stevenson and fellow chief executive Andy Hornby, for the collapse of the bank.
Following the report, Sir James stepped down from his advisory position he held at a London-based private equity firm Bridgepoint on Friday and was also forced to quit his £125,000-a-year job as a senior independent director of the catering giant Compass.
The 57-year-old said “the report made for very chastening reading” and that he was “deeply sorry” for what had happened at HBOS and the “ensuing consequences” for the bailed-out bank’s staff, shareholders and taxpayers.
He added: “Although I stood down as the CEO of HBOS in 2006, some three years before it was taken over by Lloyds, I have never sought to disassociate myself from what has happened.”
Sir James spent 12 years at Halifax and HBOS and was appointed a non-executive director of the City regulator the Financial Services Authority (FSA) in 2004 and served as the first chief executive of the newly merged HBOS between 2001 and 2006.
He was given a knighthood under former Prime Minister Tony Blair in 2006 for “services to the finance industry” after he left HBOS to take on his roles at Bridgepoint and Compass.
He said that during his 30 years career in financial services he had “both contributed to and built up a substantial pension entitlement” and he has decided to forgo 30 percent of his gross pension entitlement payable to him during the rest of his lifetime.
It is estimated his current pension payment amounts to about £580,000 a year, that equals to around £175,000, which he hopes will be given to a charity for shareholders of Lloyds that rescued HBOS in 2009.