HBOS bosses lose out in Lloyds TSB take-over

31 October 2008 / by Rachael Stiles
HBOS executives will lose the majority of top jobs to Lloyds TSB staff when it takes over the Halifax Bank of Scotland group, it has been revealed, with nine of the top jobs going to Lloyds' bosses.

Just two of the most executive board positions will be left for HBOS staff, and most of the positions will be based in London, despite calls for key decision-making functions to be located in Scotland, seeing as HBOS is Scotland's biggest bank.

First Minister Alex Salmond has assured MSPs that he will do all he can to ensure that Lloyds TSB's proposed £12.2billion take-over of HBOS benefits Scotland as much as possible.

The move by Lloyds' boss Eric Daniels to exclude HBOS executives from the top jobs is indicative of which bank will wear the trousers in this merger.

After Peter Cummings, head of corporate lending at HBOS, built up a corporate loan book of which 40 per cent consisted of construction and housebuilding, the group's shares took a plunge in September. This sparked the Government-sponsored take-over bid by Lloyds TSB.

The merger will create a superbank that will take around 30 per cent of the UK's mortgage market.

Paul Moore, former head of regulatory risk at HBOS between 2002 and 2004, has accused Halifax bosses of participating in a reckless race for market share, and abandoning the bank's conservative roots as a building society.

Current HBOS chief Andy Hornby announced that he will be stepping down next year after the group accepted the Government's offer of £11.5billion of taxpayers money as part of the Treasury's plan to prop up the banking system.

Other executives are expected to leave HBOS, either through choice or necessity, and there are fears about more job losses as the superbank finds it has a surplus of staff in the same roles. It will have a collective 140,000 strong workforce once the merger has taken place.

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