HBOS chairman says sorry to shareholders
Published Date: 12 December 2008
The chairman of HBOS apologised today for the ailing bank's plight as shareholders gathered to vote on the firm's £11.5 billion taxpayer bail-out and rescue takeover by rival Lloyds TSB.
Dennis Stevenson said the board was sorry about the financial impact of the crisis on investors and said he was "neither happy nor proud" as chairman.He told the meeting in Birmingham – delayed for half an hour by a serious accident on the M6 – t
hat the world was living through "the most pronounced financial crisis since the Great Depression".The merger with Lloyds TSB will create a superbank with 145,000 staff and 3,000 branches but unions, fearful of thousands of job losses, protested outside the meeting today.HBOS, which posted another gloomy trading update today, was facing conditions "frankly more difficult by the day", Mr Stevenson said.The Lloyds takeover has been opposed by some Scottish businessmen, but the board considered all alternatives, the chairman added."I cannot say too strongly that your board looked at every possible solution... we do not cede our independence lightly."The combined bank is likely to be 43.5% owned by the taxpayer following capital raising by HBOS and Lloyds TSB – leaving existing HBOS shareholders with just 20% of the new bank.But Mr Stevenson said of the public banking rescue: "Overall, I applaud the intervention of the UK Government... it was the right thing to have done."SHARP RISE IN BAD DEBTS AT HBOSHBOS sent shockwaves through the banking sector today after revealing a further sharp rise in bad debts in corporate and personal lending.Ahead of the vote on the company's takeover by Lloyds TSB, HBOS said overall impairment charges were an estimated £8 billion in the first 11 months of the year, up £3.2 billion since the end of September.The scale of the write-downs, coupled with a warning of more to come, alarmed investors as shares in HBOS and merger partner Lloyds TSB tumbled 18%. Royal Bank of Scotland, which is 58% owned by the Government, slumped by a similar level.HBOS warned: "In light of the worsening economic climate, trends in retail impairment charges are likely to come under further pressure."With more borrowers struggling to meet mortgage payments, the company estimated its bad debt figure on secured lending was likely to be in the region of £700 million, compared with £400 million in September and £200 million in June. For unsecured lending, the figure reached £1 billion, up from £800 million at the end of September.As well as the bad debts relating to the retail business, HBOS said the rapid deterioration in credit conditions resulted in an estimated charge of £3.3 billion on corporate-based investments, compared with £1.7 billion in September.It added that margins were under increasing pressure after the Bank of England base rate fell sharply in recent months to 2%.In addition to the takeover by Lloyds, HBOS is the subject of a bail-out through the Government's recapitalisation scheme.HBOS said in a statement: "Global market and economic conditions, UK recession and increasing unemployment will continue to present a particularly challenging operating and credit environment."Lower interest rates should ease the debt burden but exert further pressure on net interest income. These factors will impact on HBOS capital ratios."However, through the injection of capital and liquidity facilitated by the UK Government, both currently and going forward, HBOS remains confident in its ability to navigate through this difficult period, as it becomes part of the enlarged Lloyds Banking Group."newspaper.
Last Updated: 12 December 2008 12:27 PM
Source: The Scotsman
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Bele's bane,Scotland 12/12/2008 13:13:10
I still say that the take over is an English plot intended to impede Scottish independence and freedom!
JoeMiddleton,Edinburgh 12/12/2008 13:16:03
He should have resigned. The whole board is culpable for this disgusting sell out of our most important bank. #1 even the Britman knows that this is the case.
Im sure that the shareholders who are going to lose out on their holdings thanks to the take over by Lloyds and the people who will lose their jobs accept this apology - not! Its people like him and Fred Goodwin that have given banking a bad reputation. Yet its people like me who work at the bottom levels that lose jobs. Im sure that Stevenson will be alright his on his salary!
JoeMiddleton,Edinburgh 12/12/2008 13:18:18
It wasn't driven from England however but from two idiots from Scotland who decided to put Britain's interest before their own country. They'll get their reward.
More bad debt in B of S and the crowed that allowed this to happen are still there,I'll no longer be using this crowd don't have a lot but if all users of the ex-B of S put their money elsewhere may send a message to them use the Clydesdale maybe.
Ancient Hibee,edinburgh 12/12/2008 15:01:52
Good idea move your business from a British bank to an Australian one.
Ju@n Kerr - the ex labour sheep,12/12/2008 15:13:12
#4 - Totaly , if you asked the average English person they would say fair do's if Independence is what you want then fine. Unfortunatley brown is the worst of quislings. Showing his loyalty the hardest by poison pilling his own country. After seeing that, i am sure patriotic English people comfortable of their identity, as we are our Scottish identity, will not want a viper like that any more than we do.Britman Brown the superhero. LOL who too?
Ju@n Kerr - the ex labour sheep,12/12/2008 15:14:15
Anyone able to do that with intention is a sleekit, lowdown nasty piece of work.
Ju@n Kerr - the ex labour sheep,12/12/2008 15:17:11
Time for the gloves too come of Scotland. Fight anyone who will accept that disgusting behaviour, they are no good to Scotland, no good to England, No good to Wales or NI! Perfectly willing to trade his fellow man for his own aims.
Ancient Hibee,edinburgh 12/12/2008 15:17:37
Some of us think Britain is our own country.
Ju@n Kerr - the ex labour sheep,12/12/2008 15:28:49
Brown is a hoar too his own ambition, the lowest of the low , the creepiest of the lot. If he was asked to kill his child to win the deciding seat he would do it in the blink of an eye. he is a dirty rotten little sh! t of a man.
Ju@n Kerr - the ex labour sheep,12/12/2008 15:30:30
10 - the country of his birth is Scotland. He should not intentionaly poison it to kill of peoples dreams. It was Scotland before it was britain.
c and courtesy and thanks for once (you tried to do the decent thing but don't spin a a merger , it's a takeover. ) Scotsman publications
8 years ago