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Ex-HBOS chief lambasts ‘out of control’ FSA

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Ex-HBOS chief lambasts ‘out of control’ FSA

Former HBOS director Peter Cummings has lambasted the Financial Services Authority (FSA) over its handling of his fine and ban from financial services.

Cummings, former chief executive of HBOS corporate, was fined £500,000 in September and banned from financial services for his part in the bank’s collapse.

In an interview with a sub-committee of the Parliamentary Commission on Banking Standards, Cummings labelled the regulator as ‘out of control’ and said it was ‘unfair and sinister’ that he had been the only bank director singled out for regulatory action following the banking crisis.

‘We are not the only failed bank. There are at least four or five of them, and I find it curious that I was singled out,’ he said. ‘I think it is sinister and curious.’

He added that his lawyers believed the FSA penalty was ‘unlawful’, and that the regulator had reduced the fine from £800,000 to £500,000 when confronted.

‘I do think it bewildering and bizarre that in the space of a meeting and two phone calls – because they did not want me to take it to judicial review – they reduced the fine to £500,000,’ he said.

‘Frankly, it was like living in an American soap opera. I find it bewildering, bizarre and downright impossible to believe this country has an organisation that is out of control to the extent that it is. I think it is unacceptable behaviour.’

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