On November 19, 2015, the final Report into the Financial Services Authority’s enforcement actions following the failure of HBOS plc, prepared by Andrew Green Q.C., was published by the PRA and FCA. The Report assesses the reasonableness of the scope of the FSA’s enforcement investigations in relation to the failure of HBOS from October 1, 2008 to September 12, 2012 and concludes that the scope was not reasonable, that the FSA’s decision-making process was materially flawed and that the FSA should have conducted a wider investigation or series of investigations into the conduct of the HBOS Corporate Division and Mr. Cummings, CEO of the Corporate Division at the relevant time. Recommendations include: (i) the regulators should have a system for pre-referral decision-making through which they identify and record the potential individuals that could be the subject of enforcement action related to an event/s, including reasons. One individual at the regulator/s should be made responsible for the pre-referral decision-making process; (ii) there should be an on-going dialogue between Supervision and Enforcement, including discussions on the appropriateness of the scope of the investigation and any decisions should be recorded; (iii) the Memorandum of Appointment of Investigators issued to individuals by the regulators should include a summary of the potential breaches and an explanation of the matters that give rise to those alleged breaches; and (iv) the minutes of a regulators’ Executive Committee meetings should be subject to review and approval. The Report also recommends that the PRA and FCA consider whether to investigate other former senior managers at HBOS with a view to prohibition proceedings.
The report is available at: http://www.bankofengland.co.uk/pra/Documents/publications/reports/agreenreport.pdf.