Six people, including two former HBOS bankers, have been found guilty of bribery and fraud that cost the bank’s customers and shareholders hundreds of millions of pounds.
Lynden Scourfield, a former manager with HBOS, pleaded guilty to six counts including corruption. Five other defendants, including so-called turnaround consultants, were also convicted on charges of bribery, fraud and money laundering.
Two of those convicted, businessmen Michael Bancroft and David Mills, gave Scourfield huge bribes, including cash and exotic holidays. In exchange, Scourfield told his small business customers to use a business turnaround firm, Quayside Corporate Services, which was run by Mills and his wife Alison; who was also convicted.
Quayside claimed to offer business advice to struggling firms. But it milked them for huge fees and used its relationship with HBOS to bully the business owners, strip them of their assets and even take control (and sometimes ownership) of the businesses.
It begs the question: where were HBOS’s preventative measures when it came to minimising the risk of bribery and fraud?