Government warned not to gun for bank FDs


An analyst has urged the government not to start a witch-hunt against FDs of
some of the UK’s biggest banks following the departures of RBS’s Sir Fred
Goodwin and HBOS’s Andy Hornby from their chief executive jobs.

The banking expert warned against putting Guy Whittaker of RBS and Mike Ellis
of HBOS in the firing line if the banks were to have any hope of meeting the
challenges they face in reviving their battered balance sheets.

‘Looking for a scapegoat is wrong. How the banks manage themselves over the
next year with increased capital requirements during quite a significant
downturn is vital. The last thing the banks need is a revolving door policy [for
the FDs],’ the analyst said.

‘I think there are already too many people seeking to identify groups to
blame. Somebody in the government wanted a change,’ added the analyst in
relation to the Goodwin and Hornby exits.

The environment for bank executives has become much more hostile since the
government bail-out with public vitriol intensifying.

Government figures are believed to have insisted on boardroom changes as a
condition of granting the £37bn bail-out.

The Treasury denied putting pressure on companies to ditch chief executives
or FDs.

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