Vince Cable explores boardroom ban for former HBOS bosses

Mr Cable has asked the Insolvency Service to explore whether there is enough evidence to start proceedings against Lord Stevenson, the former chairman of HBOS, and two former chief executives, Sir James Crosby and Andy Hornby.

The Business Secretary has already secured bans against the former directors of MG Rover and said he has taken the “first steps” to exploring whether the HBOS directors could be banned, reports The Telegraph.

“There are things I am able to do. It’s quite a legalistic process. I can ask [officials] to look at whether the companies investigations branch take action. We do have this power that I have begun to initiate,” Mr Cable told The Sunday Times.

The comments from Mr Cable come after HBOS’s former chairman and chief executives were criticised by the Parliamentary Commission on Banking Standards for their “reckless” and “deluded” stewardship of the bank.

In a damning report into the downfall of HBOS, the committee laid the blame for the banks demise squarely at the door of the trio that led the bank from its creation in 2001, via the merger of Halifax and Bank of Scotland, until its collapse in 2008.

“The HBOS story is one of catastrophic failures of management, governance and regulatory oversight,” says commission chairman Andrew Tyrie. “The commission concluded that primary responsibility for these failures should lie with the former chairman of HBOS, Lord Stevenson, and its former chief executives, Sir James Crosby and Andy Hornby.”

After an “aggressive” lending spree, HBOS collapsed at the height of 2008’s financial crisis as liquidity dried up in the wholesale markets.

It was acquired by Lloyds Banking Group, but such were HBOS’s problems that Lloyds was forced into a £30bn bailout. The taxpayer now owns 41pc of the enlarged bank.