Saturday 22 August 2009

Victor Blank scores a Blank

This Robert Peston interview with Sir Victor Blank, the recently deprated LLoyds Banking Group ex-Chairman, is amazing. Not for the fireworks or stunning Peston interview technique.

But for Blank's show of ignorance. Here is a 'City Grandee' dispalying all the worst characteristics that we have come to expect.

Sir Victor says they had no idea about the problems in HBOS; perhaps they could have done some due diligence to see what they were buying? No, not when Mr. Brown the Prime Minister had asked so politely.

In recent weeks I have had some conversations which suggest LLoyd's was uniquely poorly placed ot buy HBOS. Lloyds had never had a huge corporate bank and had not been on the other side of the mad deals HBOS had been winning. Barclays, RBS and HSBC would have known of the craziness of the business model promoted by Peter Cumming at HBOS.

Lloyds were ignorant and it has sure cost their shareholders.

Sir Victor also offers no mea culpa, instead there are weasel words about a need for change and someone having to take a fall. Let's face it he should have been sacked for incompetence and landing the Bank with such a bad deal.


Bill Quango MP said...

'It didn't feel like a rescue'

Really? wasn't he reading this blog?
Plenty of warnings if you look back.

Looking back at /aug/sept/oct 2008.

Scary times.

Demetrius said...

GOLD TV has been running the "Yes Prime Minister" series in which a character called Sir Desmond Glazebrook, played by Richard Vernon, turns up as the epitome of the City top men. He is somebody who never knows what is going on, and doesn't want to, who is just a big batty and disengaged, and whose ethical standards are distinctly elastic in an old boys club way. Perhaps things have not changed all that much.

Budgie said...

Blank should not have allowed himself to be such a pushover for Brown. But then Brown should not have pushed for it in the first place. If Brown had any competence at all, that is. So Brown was protecting his ass rather than Lloyds assets. Both therefore have been bad for UK plc.

James Higham said...

the recently deprated LLoyds Banking Group ex-Chairman

That t was not a typo for v was it?

Anonymous said...

How extraordinary. The banks like Lloyds and HBOS should have just been allowed to go to the wall. By the rules of the market new businesses would have filled the gaps very quickly and we would all have been better off - aint that what banks always say?

Budgie said...

Mutley - surely Lloyds would have survived without taxpayer money if they had not been inveigled into 'rescuing' HBoS?

tory boys never grow up said...

I somehow doubt that RBS would have appreciated the craziness of the HBOS model - their deal with ABN AMRO was probably even crazier, and I'm not sure that Barclays' bid was much better!

Perhaps Brown/Darling should also be given some credit for finding a sufficiently gullible buyer for HBOS - the consequences would have been even more awful if they hadn't