Thursday, 16 October 2008

Save HBoS

The Chief Executive of the FSA has said that HBoS doesn't need to bend the knee to the Lloyds TSB merger, that the bank can stand alone as a commercial entity.

Good! Let's keep the Lloyds TSB asset-strippers away from Scotland's banks.

Commentators are starting to say the same things I've been saying (yeah, I thought about saying I'd persuaded them) about how the deal done sends banks back to the bad practices that got them into difficulty and how HBoS doesn't need taken over.

By the way, well done to the Scotsman for starting to ask the questions and demanding answers, for campaigning to keep HBoS independent, for bringing evidence to the table and asking for the facts to be revealed.

Moody's is upgrading the HBoS rating, the Bank may be coming out of the woods.

Allen & Overy - advisors to HBoS on the Lloyds TSB merger is advising HBoS on selling its Australian assets - a conflict of interests, surely? Or is it all part of the same deal because Lloyds TSB doesn't have the resources to complete the deal and Victor Blank's mate, who happens to be the Prime Minister, has smoothed the path for this struggling organisation?

We still don't know why Blank & co were the only management organisation allowed to remain in place under the deal, but I'm coming down on the side of mate's rates on a grand scale.

The deal being done isn't anti-nationalist nor anti-Scottish. Not a thought is being given to Scotland, either to protect Scotland's institutions or to damn them, it's just a business deal where neither Victor Blank nor Gordon Brown has given a thought to what happens in Scotland - that's just incidental. Victor Blank has already made it clear that he has privileged access to the Prime Minister and that he can get special consideration from him.

Buying up HBoS, stripping it clean until Mr Blank can suck the last juices out of the bones, and propping up Lloyds TSB is the agenda.

I've just re-read what I've written before posting and it seems, even to me, disjointed and akin to conspiracy-spotting, but reviewing the evidence does not seem to lead anywhere else. This seems to be an asset-stripping exercise aided and abetted (as it were) by a politician. Hier stehe ich. Ich kann nicht anders.

I hear that there is a campaign beginning - I don't know whether it's really happening but I hope it is - people are buying shares in HBoS and intend to keep HBoS free from Lloyds TSB and to move HQ operations back to Scotland. I fully endorse that, I'm out to buy a few shares myself, and I'll go further.

When we've saved HBoS from this merger, when we have a banker back in charge, when the situation is stabilised, when HBoS is operating properly, let's buy Lloyds TSB. Surely if the deal was acceptable the other way round it will be acceptable this way round? If HBoS needs the deal from the Government then it can buy out the preference shares by disposing of overseas assets - not at the knock-down prices that are currently being considered, but at proper market rates -and then HBoS can get back to being a bank.

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