Paul Moore

Paul Moore

HBOS ‘Whistleblower’

Synopsis

Paul was dismissed from his role as Head of Group Regulatory Risk at HBOS, after he told his CEO that the sales culture was “markedly out of balance with risk & compliance systems.” He was then labelled a whistleblower for speaking out about what he saw. Likening his experience to a person in a rowing boat trying to slow a vast tanker, Paul argues that control functions must be central to strategy, unhindered by sales culture or fear. He is still campaigning.

Biography

Paul Moore is the former Head of Group Regulatory Risk for HBOS. He hit the headlines when his evidence to a Treasury Select Committee revealed how his appeals to his employers that excessive risks were being taken in the company lead directly to his dismissal.

Having qualified as a barrister, Paul made the switch to banking, specialising in financial risk and regulation. After almost three decades in The City, including seven years as a partner at KPMG, Paul moved to the Halifax Bank of Scotland group.

After three years with the bank, Paul was dismissed after bringing the board’s attention to what he saw as a dangerously relaxed view of investment risk. He was disturbed by the methods being used to assess how risky loans were, and the casual way senior figures viewed investments that could have serious implications for the solvency of the company.

Within two years of his dismissal, the world was in the grip of the worst financial crisis in a hundred years. Despite having agreed to remain silent after leaving HBOS, Paul felt it more important to speak out. His select committee evidence exposed the collusion of senior executives in the imprudent sales culture and lead to the resignation of HBOS chief executive Sir James Crosby. With the credit crunch and the banking crisis dominating the headlines, the usually reserved and private Moore consequently found himself at the centre of a media storm.

Paul has seen close up the bad practises which brought down one of the UK’s biggest banks, and how a dangerous attitude to risk in some areas infected the whole organisation. He now runs his own risk consultancy, and continues to fight for a more cautious, closely regulated financial structure.

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