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British police act as financial regulator in HBOS takedown

Neil Hodge | February 14, 2017

The wheels of British justice may grind slowly forward, but it looks like the police—rather than the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) or any financial regulator—finally got their men last week in a scandal that saw dozens of small-business owners ripped off and the bank responsible for it (HBOS) forced to write off £245m (U.S.$306m) of bad debts.

On 2 February six people—including two HBOS managers—were jailed for a total of 47 years and nine months, following a six-year investigation by Thames Valley Police into a complex multimillion-pound corruption and fraud case dating back more than a decade.

The fraud was simple enough on the surface: private business advisers paid bribes to HBOS bank employees in return for the bank passing them customers to rack up fees against. The problem is why the bank was unable to detect or prevent the fraud from... To get the full story, subscribe now.