Dennis Stevenson, Baron Stevenson of Coddenham
Henry Dennistoun "Dennis" Stevenson, Baron Stevenson of Coddenham, CBE, DL (born 19 July 1945) is a British businessman and former chairman of HBOS. He sits on the cross-benches in the House of Lords.
Stevenson's business career started when he set up the SRU Consultancy Group upon leaving Cambridge. He was Chairman of the Newton Aycliffe and Peterlee New Town Development Corporation from 1971 to 1980.
Stevenson was a non-executive Director of British Technology Group (1979–89), Tyne Tees Television (1982–87), Manpower Inc. (1988-2006), Thames Television (1991-93), J. Rothschild Assurance plc (1991–97), English Partnerships (1993-2004), BSkyB (1994-2001), Lazard Bros (1997-2002) and St James's Place Capital (1997-2002).
He was Chairman of the National Association of Youth Clubs (1973-1981), Intermediate Technology Development Group (1983-1990), the Trustees of the Tate Gallery (1988-1998), Aerfi (formerly GPA, 1993-1999), Pearson (1997-2005), HBOS (formerly Halifax Plc, 1999-2008), the House of Lords Appointments Commission (2001-2008), and Aldeburgh Music (2002-2012).
Stevenson is a long time campaigner for greater understanding and treatment of mental illness informed by his own experiences of depression. He is the Founding Chair of MQ, a charity which supports research into mental health and he promoted a Private Members’ Bill – the “Mental Health (Discrimination) Bill” – the first key step in the UK to removing a number of the key discriminations against people who suffer from mental illness.
He is currently a trustee of Inter Mediate  which facilitates negotiation to help bring a sustainable peace in the most difficult, complex and dangerous conflicts where other organisations are unable to operate.
Stevenson was married in 1972 and has four sons. He was appointed a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in the 1981 New Year Honours, knighted in the 1998 New Year Honours, and created a Life Peer on 13 July 1999 taking the title Baron Stevenson of Coddenham, of Coddenham in the County of Suffolk.
Stevenson became chairman of Halifax plc in 1999 and when they merged with Bank of Scotland in May 2001 he became chairman of the merged group, HBOS plc. After the collapse of Lehman Brothers in September 2008 and the subsequent forced rescue-merger between HBOS and Lloyds TSB, Stevenson and Andy Hornby resigned, waiving their rights to any "pay-offs". At a meeting of the Treasury Select Committee of the House of Commons on 10 February 2009, Stevenson apologised for the near-collapse of HBOS. In April 2013, the Parliamentary Commission on Banking Standards assigned the primary responsibility for the collapse of HBOS to Stevenson along with former chief executives Sir James Crosby and Andy Hornby. The commission urged the regulator to ban all three men from the industry. Their report said : "Lord Stevenson has shown himself incapable of facing the realities of what placed the bank in jeopardy from that time until now". And: "The corporate governance of HBOS at board level serves as a model for the future, but not in the way in which Lord Stevenson and other board members appear to see it. It represents a model of self-delusion, of the triumph of process over purpose". (Parliament's Banking Standards Commission report, issued in April 2013)
Notes and references
- Kwame Kwei-Armah becomes Chancellor of University of the Arts London
- The London Gazette: . 31 December 1980.
- The London Gazette: . 31 December 1997.
- The London Gazette: . 18 August 1998.
- The London Gazette: . 20 July 1999.
- Sean Farrell, Treasury Select Committee: Bonfire of the bankers The Independent.