Paul Moore (banking manager)

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Paul Moore is a former manager at the UK bank HBOS, who came to public attention as a whistleblower in the banking crisis of late 2008 as a result of having been dismissed from his position as head of the bank's financial risk management in 2004 after warning his employers that they were taking excessive risks, at a time before the banking crisis of 2008 demonstrated that the risks were, indeed, real, when the bank was in danger of collapse until forced into a merger and then bailed out by a multi-billion-pound infusion of capital from the Treasury.

Moore's complaints were investigated at the time (before the crisis) by accountancy firm KPMG, who concluded that HBOS had appropriate risk controls in place; this was accepted by the Financial Services Authority.[1]

He sued HBOS for unfair dismissal on the basis that the reason for his dismissal was actually his warnings of excessive risk, which if followed would have reduced the bank's profits while protecting it from what proved to be the all-too-real risk. The bank settled his claim for over half a million pounds in mid-2005.

Biography[edit]

Educated at the Catholic boarding school Ampleforth College,[2] Moore trained as a barrister. He was involved in UK financial regulation since it began in 1986. Between 1995 and 2002 he was a partner in KPMG's Financial Sector Practice in London specialising in regulatory services where he advised a number of FTSE100 clients on regulatory matters.

Between 2002 and 2004, Moore was head of Group Regulatory Risk at HBOS. He had formal responsibility for the bank's policy and oversight of executive management's compliance with FSA regulation.

Dismissal controversy[edit]

In November 2004 Moore was dismissed by HBOS. He claimed this was because he had told HBOS's board that the bank was taking excessive risks with its aggressive sales culture which was out of balance with its systems and controls. He passed his concerns about HBOS to the FSA, who had it investigated by KPMG, whose conclusion, that HBOS had appropriate risk controls in place, was accepted by the FSA.[3][4] Following his dismissal the bank replaced him with a retail sales manager.

Still before the crisis, he sued HBOS for unfair dismissal; the bank settled his claim for over half a million pounds in mid-2005, under terms of what amounted to a gagging agreement, a specific requirement that he remain silent concerning his dismissal.

Although Moore had agreed to the non-disclosure agreement as part of his settlement, he decided to speak out after the crisis because he believed it to be in the public interest. A House of Commons Treasury Select Committee investigation later lifted the agreement under parliamentary privilege in order that his view of the events leading to the HBOS crash be presented.

On 10 February 2009 Moore submitted a memorandum of evidence to the UK's Treasury Select Committee, which was investigating risks taken by UK banks prior to the credit crunch. Following the revelation that Moore had been fired by Sir James Crosby, formerly CEO at HBOS, Crosby re-signed from his subsequent post of Deputy Director at the FSA.

Current work[edit]

Moore runs a risk consultancy, Moore Carter and Associates,[5] and is also non-executive Chairman of Assetz Capital,[6] a peer-to-peer lender aimed at SMEs and property developers in the UK.

He has announced his intentions to publish a book in November 2014, about the HBOS whistle blowing and subsequent events called "Crash, Bank, Wallop".[7]

References[edit]

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