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HBOS and RBS bosses apologise while anger over bonuses grows

11 February 2009 / by Rebecca Sargent
The former chiefs of both HBOS and RBS have formerly apologised for their part in the global banking crisis.

Brought together in front of the Treasury Select Committee yesterday, the ex bank chiefs HBOS' Lord Stevenson and Andy Hornby, and RBS's Tom McKillop and Sir Fred Goodwin said sorry for the parts they have played.

Both RBS and HBOS have had to be bailed out since the credit crisis began and the Government now owns a 68 per cent stake in RBS, while HBOS has become part of the newly formed Lloyds Banking Group.

Addressing the Committee, former chairman of HBOS, Lord Stevenson said: "We are profoundly, and I think I would say unreservedly sorry at the turn of events."

He went on to apologise for the anxiety and uncertainty caused to both staff and customers and the effect that the banks' failure has had on the community.

RBS's Tom McKillop reiterated Stevenson's apology.

The Committee also addressed the issue of bonuses which has been at the centre of controversy this week since it was reported that RBS would be paying £1billion in bonuses.

RBS' Fred Goodwin and HBOS' Andy Hornby said they did not take a bonus last year, and Mr Hornby admitted that the bonus culture which is prominent in the City does need to be addressed.

Labour MP John Prescott has since launched a petition over City bonuses, which has so far received 16,756 signatures. He told BBC One's Breakfast this morning:

"This is unacceptable, No ifs, no buts, don't pay the bonuses."

One supporter, Valerie Shaw, commented on the petition, saying: "The Bankers have been totally irresponsible and are far too highly paid. Bonuses should never have been introduced in the first place – and certainly should NOT be taken now."

Existing banking chiefs, including those of newly formed Lloyds Banking Group will give evidence this afternoon as the Banking Crisis investigation continues – Lloyds TSB's Eric Daniels is expected to announce that he also did not take a bonus for 2008.

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