How Disgraced Bankers Ought to Behave: Former Bank Chief Seeks to Give Up Knighthood

mortgage bankers association

LONDON—James Crosby, the former chief executive of failed lender HBOS PLC, requested Tuesday that he be stripped of his knighthood, and pledged to forgo nearly one-third of his pension following a scathing report into the collapse of the mortgage giant.

HBOS was bought by Lloyds Banking Group PLC in 2008 as the bank was sinking under a mountain of souring loans. The scale of the losses was such that Lloyds needed a £20 billion ($30.5 billion) bailout from taxpayers.

A parliamentary commission published a highly critical report last week on the demise of HBOS and recommended that Mr. Crosby and two other executives be banned from working in the financial-services industry.

Mr. Crosby left HBOS in 2006, and was knighted shortly after for services to the financial industry. Although he left HBOS several years before the bank’s demise, the commission’s report questioned the role he played in shaping the bank’s strategy.

Mr. Crosby said Tuesday he was “deeply sorry” for what happened and took the rare step of asking to have his knighthood removed.

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