Former bank bosses offer apologies

FORMER Halifax Bank of Scotland chairman Lord Stevenson of Coddenham led the apologies today as the ex-bosses of banks bailed out by the Government appeared before a panel of MPs.

FORMER Halifax Bank of Scotland chairman Lord Stevenson of Coddenham led the apologies today as the ex-bosses of banks bailed out by the Government appeared before a panel of MPs.

Lord Stevenson - who has a home in Suffolk - told members of the Treasury Select Committee that he and former HBOS chief executive Andy Hornby were “profoundly sorry” for the “turn of events”.

Sir Tom McKillop, the former chairman of Royal Bank of Scotland, said he would “echo” the comments and said he had made a full apology in November.

Also appearing before the committee was former RBS chief executive Sir Fred Goodwin, who added: “I apologised in full and I'm happy to do so again.”

Lord Stevenson, 63, became chairman of HBOS following its formation through the merger of Halifax, the demutualised former building society, with Bank of Scotland in 2001.

He had been chairman of Halifax since 1999, the same year in which he was created a life peer. He sits as a crossbencher in the Lords, but is reported to be a close friend of Lord (Peter) Mandelson.

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Lord Stevenson, whose pay for 2007 totalled more than �800,000, initially resisted calls for his resignation as HBOS chairman as confidence in the bank waned last autumn, culminating in an �11billion bail-out by the taxpayer.

He stood down last month following the completion of the merger between HBOS and Lloyds TSB. RBS has received �20billion of support from the Government, and Lloyds �5.5billion.