Cable writes to HBOS about Farepak collapse

The Business Secretary, Vince Cable, yesterday wrote to HBOS about the state-backed bank's role in the demise of Christmas hampers business Farepak.

In the firm's dying days, HBOS forced directors to take £10m from customers, despite knowing that the company was heading for insolvency.

Last month, a High Court judge partly blamed HBOS's "hardball" attitude for Farepak's collapse and asked it to return up to £10m more to victims. Mr Cable said: "I have written to HBOS to seek their views on the statement of the judge."

HBOS is part of the Lloyds Banking Group, which remains 41 per cent owned by taxpayers following the banking crisis and bailout of 2008-9.