Old Boy’s bank bailout apology

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A former banking boss described as “the architect of the strategy that set the course for disaster” was a pupil at Lancaster Royal Grammar School.

Sir James Crosby said he wanted to be stripped of his knighthood and would give up 30 per cent of his £580,000 a year pension, after the Parliamentary Commission on Banking Standards claimed he was responsible for the collapse of banking group HBOS, resulting in a £20.5bn taxpayer bailout.

Sir James, 57, who attended Lancaster Royal Grammar School from 1967 to 1974, and lived in Halton, stood down as CEO of HBOS in 2006, and was given a knighthood in the same year for services to the finance industry.

But the parliamentary commission found that Sir James, along with former chairman Lord Stevenson and fellow chief executive Andy Hornby, held primary responsibility for the collapse of HBOS. Their “toxic” misjudgments were blamed for the bank’s downfall and £20.5 billion taxpayer bailout at the height of the financial crisis and the commission said they should not be allowed to work in the financial sector again.

Sir James still holds a knighthood as he cannot himself renounce the title, but said he believed should be withdrawn.