James Moore: Sir James Crosby had to lose his way at Compass

Outlook One notable difference between HBOS and Royal Bank of Scotland is that the former was far more savvy in matters of PR.

That can be seen from the way the announcement from Sir James Crosby was handled. Just two days after he was outed as the architect of the HBOS disaster by the Parliamentary Commission on Banking Standards, Sir James announced that he planned to give up a portion of his pension, and his knighthood, thus sparing David Cameron considerable embarrassment.

Mr Cameron's refusal to push for either step was motivated by the fury of the business lobby after he intervened to ensure the former Royal Bank of Scotland chief executive Fred Goodwin lost his knighthood. It appears that Mr Cameron takes the members of his business advisory group more seriously than he does his own backbench MPs.

Fortunately, for him, the soon-to-be-Mr Crosby rather than Sir James has solved what threatened to become a very difficult problem for the PM when much of the media is distracted by an event of historical significance.

One wonders if Vince Cable will now be persuaded to call off the dogs who have been charged with seeing if there are grounds for banning Sir James as a company director. Not that he has any real reason to be afraid. The chances of anything happening on that front are not high.

In the meantime, don't cry too hard for Sir James. He may appear to be taking the honourable course. But he'll no doubt muddle through comfortably enough on a six-figure sum each year. And, unlike Mr Goodwin, he sold off most of his shares before they became worthless.

He also finally addressed the issue of his position on the board of Compass. The catering company announced that he had decided to step down with immediate effect.

Rightly so, in this case. Sir James was no ordinary non-executive director. At Compass he was the senior independent director.

That position was created in the UK to provide a place for shareholders to go when relations, or communications, with a chairman break down, as sometimes happens if they allow themselves to become too much part of a corporate establishment.

There was a certain irony in a man whose actions ultimately led to shareholders losing the thick end of £40bn at one company being their first port of call if things start to get sticky with the management of another.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
ebooks
ebooksA celebration of British elections
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Recruitment Genius: Claims Administrator

£16000 - £18500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an excellent opportunit...

Recruitment Genius: Senior SEO Executive

£24000 - £28000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Senior SEO Executive is requi...

Recruitment Genius: Online Customer Service Administrator

£16000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An Online customer Service Admi...

Recruitment Genius: Digital Marketing Executive

£18000 - £22000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This global, industry leading, ...

Day In a Page

'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Russell Brand's interview with Ed Miliband has got everyone talking about The Trews

Everyone is talking about The Trews

Russell Brand's 'true news' videos attract millions of viewers. But today's 'Milibrand' interview introduced his resolutely amateurish style to a whole new crowd
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living
Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

Homeless people keep mobile phones

A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before
'Queer saint' Peter Watson left his mark on British culture by bankrolling artworld giants

'Queer saint' who bankrolled artworld giants

British culture owes a huge debt to Peter Watson, says Michael Prodger
Pushkin Prizes: Unusual exchange programme aims to bring countries together through culture

Pushkin Prizes brings countries together

Ten Scottish schoolchildren and their Russian peers attended a creative writing workshop in the Highlands this week
14 best kids' hoodies

14 best kids' hoodies

Don't get caught out by that wind on the beach. Zip them up in a lightweight top to see them through summer to autumn
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The acceptable face of the Emirates

The acceptable face of the Emirates

Has Abu Dhabi found a way to blend petrodollars with principles, asks Robert Fisk