Doubts over second job of HBOS' Crosby

Sir James Crosby’s tenure as Compass’s senior independent director was looking increasingly shaky on Friday night after the contract caterer refused to back him.

The company’s stance shortened the odds on Sir James losing another job in the wake of the damning report by the Parliamentary Commission on Banking Standards, which held him personally responsible for the collapse of HBOS.

optimates: Just boycotts the companies, their scums are directors. Will not be buying anything from them.

Jean-Luc Neale: Bookseller Waterstones is also understood to be standing by Lord Stevenson, with no plans for any change to his non-executive role. No worries Waterstones is going the same way as HMV so this will be another company Stevenson (sorry cant call him Lord he doesnt deserve that sort of respect) will be on the board of that will collapse. He is unemployable

david37: I'm a shareholder of Compass and I want him OUT before he can cause more damage to me, other shareholders and the firm.

s-i-a: So Compass didn't realise how useless their senior independent director was, even though he held the position for 6 years, until they read the Parliamentary Commission on Banking Standards. It sounds to me like the board at Compass needs a shake-up too. 

DevonshireDozer: This gives Compass a great opportunity to test the contribution made by such as Sir James. They could replace him by a tub of lard and a random number generator  at meetings . Tub of lard for physical presence & RNG for voting intentions. If it makes no difference to their performance, then they won't miss him at all. And if things improve  . . . lessons could be learned. As usual, The Slog has an interesting perspective at https://hat4uk.wordpress.com/2013/04/05/analysis-why-we-should-ignore-the-hbos-three/ . Why aren't any senior banking people in jail yet?

alanllandrindodwells: Note also the rules of the game and the game have both changed. Previously having a banker on board, useless or not, meant you had contacts for borrowing oodles of money. Now they are not worth the paper they doodle on at meetings.

surabayajohnny: Leaving a contract caterer ???? Gravy train over? About time too.

Europhobe29: Of course the failed to back him.  They may not have realised it but the man was a cavalier buffoon who managed to run HBOS into the ground with no thought for risk or sustainability.  My contempt for him is such that I wouldn't have him as customer unless he paid in advance. If he manages to get any job NOT washing dishes then his employer will deserve what they get and I trust we won't be hearing the shareholders whining in the future.

Anthony Tori: Its apt for a gambling company to hire and retain Andy Hornby, a failure by any measure. After all gambling companies have a perception of dishonesty and skulduggery. So now perception is reality, well done Gala, the Americans mobsters in Las Vagas would be proud of you.

elliemaesgrandad: Is the word 'pariah' about to come into frequent use?

elliemaesgrandad: * Sir James could not be reached for comment. * He could always log on here and contribute . . .

gordo: Just what happened to the banking sector in Edinburgh? The RBS and HBOS followed similar paths to disaster with poor investment  criteria and very risky credit decisions. It would be interesting to hear from some independent operators with opinions about these banking disasters.

hillsborough96: Excuse me, but why on earth do I- a British citizen have to call this guy "Sir"? What on earth has he done to be "knighted" so that I and all of the other serfs have to call him "Sir"?   Most of these guys have crept their way up the greasy pole, brown nosing the boss or placing the knife in the back of the right person as they deem fit as they go on their merry way.   They are well connected, usually from the right family, school or Uni, and have joined the right firm, often through nepotism.   Rarely do they actually do anything of real value and "always have the shareholder's protection" as purportedly their first responsibility.   More often than not, these guys looked after themselves and their mates… the shareholder was second… everyone else could whistle.   Yes they are bright - they are clearly not stupid. But they are simply a bunch of super-gamblers. Little more than card sharks. Playing with other peoples money - and we continue to protect them.   Unfortunately the men in grey suits refuse to prosecute them. Why not? Probably because it will open a Pandora's Box, with further ramifications that will show the whole culture which pretty much still exists right through the system…   We need to rein in all of these people ASAP. Make them all accountable for their actions. We also need to quell this nonsense that the Politicians make about the fact that we need the Financial Services industry so badly. We need to be self sufficient in as many resources as possible. Make Britain Great again. I would say that if they want to leave and go somewhere else - then do so - go on you bunch of sellouts… but don't come back looking for a job after you've been so easy to chase the Dollar somewhere else.   Get some backbone - throw a few in jail, sack a few, if need be set up a quality and neutrality scheme to ensure fairness of appointments and a broader selection of society gets into these jobs.   Above all stop the easy, lazy way to the top, otherwise it will happen again.

evs: Hurrumph!

Michael Ernest Corby: Well said. I find it astonishing that Crosby should be on the FSA board - talk about having an alcoholic in charge of the brewary! Note also the Scottish mafia - note the background of Stevenson. All of these people should be banned for life from ALL company directorships - they are proven to be not only useless but downright harmful. I am sure if the govt law officers  tried hard enough they could find some charges to stick. These people should be treated like the Enron bosses.

hillsborough96: Totally agree MEC. Enron is the perfect example - but our system is so incestuous the establishment won't "hang" one of their own… I wish we had the Cojones to do it…

debstheleo: I am an ex-employee of Halifax and I worked for them for 16 years before being made redundant in 2005. All staff were actively encouraged to buy HBOS shares either through the company sharesave scheme and by converting their annual cash bonus into shares. The management team were still encouraging staff to do this right up until the collapse of the bank. I personally, lost all my savings and bonuses.  What was worth about £20,000 is now worth less than £1,000.  This was my money, which I had saved and then bought HBOS shares through the schemes offered by the company. So James Crosby sold two thirds of his shares in 2009.  Why?  Because he knew the bank was about to collapse.  That used to be called insider dealing. I am personally holding the management team at HBOS responsible for my loss and all the other staff who also lost their life savings due to their incompetence. I would ask if there is a lawyer out there who thinks we can sue them – please let me know.

LBHK: This is the 1st report post-financial crisis that is basically correct. I met James Crosby early in my career in 2003 interviewing him as CEO of HBOS. It was clear at the time that HBOS was a reckless lender, pure and simple. This is the only reason that the Parliamentary report got it right for a change, because the explanation was so simple. This was not a CDO-selling derivative machine or a dodgy hedge fund. It was an old-fashioned reckless lender who could caught out at the turn in the cycle lending irresponsibly. The difference between HBOS executives and other guilty parties in the financial industry, is HBOS executives were so hopelessly incompetent, they went bankrupt the old fashioned way. They weren't smart enough to deceive anyone, they weren't Bernie Madoff committing highly complicated fraud requiring at least a degree of intelligence, they didn't pretend the bank was something it wasn't. They were just bad managers. There is no reason to ban them. Incompetence is not a crime. It is a necessary feature of capitalism. Bad managers lose their jobs (and companies) through simply being worse than the others. They won't get another job running a bank because free markets work. Banning them is just more Government meddling.

bemusedofherts: Incompetence is a reason for them to be banned from holding directorships for 10 years.

malkie: I guess there is an argument for not banning them in that if they are employed in a a similar position by another firm that may lead to the incompetence of the directors in that firm also being exposed. That in turn may hasten the downfall of the "bonus boys clubs" rather than just the odd "bonus boy" themselves.

evs: Oh, so he got not just ONE job after he plunged his Bank & the world into recession, he got TWO jobs! The devil certainly looks after his own.

Pastaface: Yes.These fools high on the heroin of money crashed HBOS with terrible consequences. Lets remember that Brown and Balls applauded them every second until impact. Do not, for a nanosecond, believe our bullingdon chums would have acted differently. Parliamentary commission to seek justice? Parliament should be in the cell next door.

lordpete: Anyone else here a shareholder of Halifax (then HBOS, Now Lloyds TSB)? I am. Check the prices: Autumn 2006 (when I inherited the shares)  239p April 2008 (as things began to unravel world-wide) 213p Today around 49p (and it dipped lower than that previously Most of my investments have now risen above their value before the 2008 crash. Lloyds TSB is at 23% of what they were then. Go figure.

ExasperatedMe: Was he a director at that well know extinct regulator that no longer appears on the database at Companies House?

george: Will he also lose the knighthood? if fred the shred lost his, surely this guy also must to lose his knighthood.

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