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Journal of Business Ethics

, Volume 134, Issue 1, pp 155–169 | Cite as

Whistleblowing, Governance and Regulation Before the Financial Crisis: The Case of HBOS

  • Ian P. Dewing
  • Peter O. RussellEmail author
Article

Abstract

Following the financial crisis of 2008, the Treasury Committee of the UK House of Commons undertook an inquiry into the lessons that might be learned from the banking crisis. Paul Moore, head of group regulatory risk at Halifax Bank of Scotland (HBOS) during 2002–2005, provided evidence of his experience of questioning HBOS policies which resulted in his dismissal from HBOS. The problems that surfaced at HBOS during the financial crisis were so serious that it was forced to merge with Lloyds TSB, another UK bank, to form the Lloyds Banking Group in which the government took a significant stake. Moore’s evidence to the Treasury Committee revealed that long before the financial crisis, he had raised major concerns with the management of HBOS and with the Financial Services Authority (FSA), the UK financial services regulator. Moore’s evidence led to the submission of further disclosures, replies and rejoinders as evidence to the Treasury Committee. Moore’s case is therefore of considerable interest to researchers of whistleblowing because it is a rare instance of high-level whistleblowing, the details of which subsequently entered the public domain. The information revealed in evidence to the Treasury Committee sheds light on the process of whistleblowing in the context of the governance and regulation of a major UK bank that subsequently had to be rescued by government intervention during the financial crisis. The paper makes a contribution to the wider literature on whistleblowing, and to a greater understanding of aspects of the financial crisis.

Keywords

Whistleblowing Governance Regulation Financial crisis HBOS 

Notes

Acknowledgments

The authors would like to acknowledge the constructive comments and suggestions received from the editor and the anonymous reviewers.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Norwich Business SchoolUniversity of East AngliaNorwichUK

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