A great Yorkshire institution destroyed by greedy bankers

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From: Stephen R Hill, Todwick, Sheffield.

AT last it has been said: “The Men who Broke the Bank” (Yorkshire Post, April 5). Not enough, They broke more than a bank.

I was a Halifax agent for 30 years and had many friends in that sphere. My agency had been established for over 30 years from 1974 and had as its client base very many in our community of 14,000 even though they may have had bank accounts elsewhere,

The Halifax was seen as the place for saving.

I had five staff working hard, particularly at weekends. That is, until along came Andy Hornby and his cohorts who managed to portray himself to his staff as Mr Wonderful. We were left in no doubt about this.

We had regular visits from area sales managers, young new “go getters”, who told us how we should get rid of old Mrs Jones with her £30,000-plus in a passbook account, who came to us and deposited £40 or £50 and had done so every week for years, and then only withdrew just enough to pay her council tax or buy Christmas presents for the grandchildren.

Then we were told we would only be paid a basic fixed sum for counter transactions and anything else we would have to earn from sales of credit business i.e. loans, Visa cards etc. A “bonus system”, with the goalposts being moved every time the agents looked like achieving it.

When this did not produce enough results from anyone 
we got a visit from a “tough talker” with a very nasty attitude, saying he would be closing us down.

I have been called a maverick (but prefer to call it Yorkshire grit). It is unwise to threaten such a man. When I was visited I said nothing until a day later, then told them I would get rid of them before they got rid of me. As a result I was bought out, on my terms and the lease to them expired, two months before they went bust.

I was and remain, extremely sorry for the many wonderful people who were, for many years, a large part of my life and whom I had the pleasure of working with. From the managers, down to the ordinary hard working staff, who loved the Halifax, and dedicated their lives to it.

They cared about its savers and borrowers, to most it was not just a job. They must have been devastated by what was done to their once great Yorkshire institution. The likes of Hornby and his cohorts trampled on these people without a care or thought for them. A decent man could not live with having done what they did.

From: David Marshall, Park Drive West, Mirfield.

Why should the public be concerned as to whether Sir James Crosby or Lord Stevenson’s “honours” be withdrawn (Yorkshire Post, April 5) after their mismanagement of HBOS?

The concern should be about all three culprits, including Andy Hornby, who walked away from this debacle with handsome pensions and handouts.

This shouldn’t be and all remuneration should be stopped at once and reviewed in a most vigorous way. The situation as it stands is not sending the right message to the public if such a three can walk away with such high reward.

Crosby even sold most of his HBOS shares just before the bank collapsed.

Let us not forget Fred Goodwin at RBS who walked off with golden handshakes and a huge pension.

Who cares whether he keeps his knighthood or not – it’s hard cash the public understand.

From: Bob Swallow, Townhead Avenue, Settle, North Yorkshire.

I REFER to your leader (Yorkshire Post, April 5) and in particular the revelations regarding Andy Hornby.

Interestingly his present employer Gala Coral of which 
he is presently the chief 
executive, comment: “Coral is performing really well and we are pleased with the job Andy is doing.”

Small wonder, he had very considerable previous experience running a banking casino maximizing profits for the bosses at the expense of the punters, leaving we, the general public, picking up the bailout bill.

From: Arthur Quarmby, Underhill, Holme.

IF these bankers who are responsible for creating catastrophe are rewarded with multi-million pound bonuses, and pensions, and top jobs, then it stands to reason that they are going to do it again, aren’t they? And others are going to follow their example.

From: Bob Watson, Springfield Road, Baildon.

ACCORDING to your paper (Yorkshire Post, April 5), the discredited former HBOS Chief Executive Andy Hornby left the Bank in 2009 and then became chief executive of Alliance Boots.

The report went on to say that he left that later employment in 2011 with a £2.4m pay-off. Just what, one wonders, did he do during those two years to justify such a substantial payment? That he is now chief executive of bookmakers Coral makes the corporate appointments merry-go-round look even more like an old boys club as each day goes by.

Does he really deserve to still be in such a responsible role?