The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has announced on Friday (April 7) that it has resumed its investigation of the Halifax Bank of Scotland (HBOS). The probe will focus on misconduct allegations within the Impaired Assets team of the bank based in Reading.
The Thames Valley Police had previously requested a hold on the probe by the FCA, which was still part of the Financial Services Authority, in early 2013. The police had requested the hold in order to launch its own investigations into the bank and facilitate any court prosecutions that may arise.
The police investigations had resulted in a total of six HBOS bank employees and private advisers being put behind bars in February 2017. They were prosecuted at the Southwark Crown Court.
Prison sentences ranged from a minimum of three and a half years to a maximum of fifteen years.
The individuals were found guilty of forming a network of racketeering schemes, starting from the exploitation of struggling legitimate firms by certain bank managers. The managers would then provide bank loans to the businesses after advising them to approach external consultants who would generally charge a hefty fee.
The racketeering network had amassed hundreds of millions of pounds from legitimate businesses, an undisclosed high street bank, and the bank's clients.
Halifax had merged with the Bank of Scotland to form HBOS in 2001, with its headquarters based in Edinburgh.
HBOS faced immense difficulties at the peak of the financial crisis in 2009 and was acquired by the Lloyd's Banking group in the midst of its plummeting share price and fears of insolvency.