Vince Cable to meet with HBOS whistleblower

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The Independent Online

Vince Cable, the Liberal Democrat Treasury spokesman, is to meet Paul Moore, the HBOS whistle-blower who claimed the bank knowingly indulged in reckless lending, to discover if his story needs further investigation.

Mr Cable said: "I hope to find out from him whether there is more evidence which hasn't been seen properly by the authorities and whether his allegations need to be examined again." He added that the Treasury Select Committee may not be the appropriate forum for Mr Moore's allegations to be heard but that instead they should be looked at by an independent inquiry.

The whistleblower – whose allegations in February led to the swift exit of Sir James Crosby, the former HBOS chief and deputy chairman of the Financial Services Authority – has called for an independent judicial review of his claims that he warned directors several years ago that their lending policies would lead to disaster.

Following Sir James's resignation, Gordon Brown told the House of Commons that Mr Moore's allegations would be properly investi-gated, adding that: "No doubt the Treasury Select Committee will want to look at them."

However, the committee has told Mr Moore, the former head of risk at HBOS, that it does not intend calling him, or other key witnesses, to discuss the allegations for its banking review, which ends next week.

But Mr Moore claims an inquiry is needed to look at issues ranging from what the executives and non-executives knew to how the bank's finance director signed off on its rights issues in the lead-up to the cri- sis and the HBOS rescue by Lloyds.