Dennis Stevenson, Baron Stevenson of Coddenham

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The Right Honourable
The Lord Stevenson of Coddenham
Member of the House of Lords
Lord Temporal
Assumed office
13 July 1999
Life Peerage
Personal details
Born Henry Dennistoun Stevenson
(1945-07-19) 19 July 1945 (age 73)
Nationality British
Spouse(s) Charlotte Susan Vanneck
Relations Sir Peter Vanneck (father-in-law)
Children four sons
Education Edinburgh Academy
Trinity College, Glenalmond
Alma mater King's College, University of Cambridge
Known for former chairman of HBOS
Boards served on 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)
St James's Place Capital (1997-2002)
Waterstones (2011-2016)

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 crossbenches in the House of Lords.


Stevenson was educated at two Scottish independent schools: Edinburgh Academy and Trinity College, Glenalmond (since renamed Glenalmond College). He then went to King's College, Cambridge.


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), St James's Place Capital (1997-2002), and Waterstones (2011-2016).[1]

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).

He is also a former Chancellor of University of the Arts London.[2]

Stevenson is a long time campaigner for greater understanding and treatment of mental illness informed by his own experiences of depression.[3] He was the Founding Chair of MQ: Transforming Mental Health,[4] 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 [5] which facilitates negotiation to help bring a sustainable peace in the most difficult, complex and dangerous conflicts where other organisations are unable to operate.

Personal life[edit]

Stevenson married Charlotte Susan Vanneck, daughter of Sir Peter Vanneck, a former Lord Mayor of London,[6] 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,[7] knighted in the 1998 New Year Honours,[8][9] and created a Life Peer on 13 July 1999 taking the title Baron Stevenson of Coddenham, of Coddenham in the County of Suffolk.[10]

Credit crunch[edit]

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.[11] 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.[12] 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)


  1. ^ "Waterstones: four board members step down | The Bookseller". Retrieved 2016-12-09. 
  2. ^ "Kwame Kwei-Armah becomes Chancellor of University of the Arts London - News & Events". 2011-03-07. Retrieved 2015-11-19. 
  3. ^ Anna Tobin. "Mind over the matter of a mental illness | Money". The Guardian. Retrieved 2015-11-19. 
  4. ^ "MQ: Transforming Mental Health". 2015-02-06. Retrieved 2015-11-19. 
  5. ^ "Inter Mediate". Inter Mediate. Retrieved 2015-11-19. 
  6. ^ Rawsthorne, Tom (8 December 2012). "Fiddling while his bank burned: His disastrous reign at HBOS cost taxpayers £20bn but the REAL scandal is how this arrogant Blair crony has escaped blame for so long". The Daily Mail. Retrieved 19 November 2015. 
  7. ^ "No. 48467". The London Gazette (Supplement). 31 December 1980. p. 9. 
  8. ^ "No. 54993". The London Gazette (Supplement). 31 December 1997. p. 2. 
  9. ^ "No. 55229". The London Gazette. 18 August 1998. p. 8994. 
  10. ^ "No. 55558". The London Gazette. 20 July 1999. p. 7818. 
  11. ^ Sean Farrell, Treasury Select Committee: Bonfire of the bankers The Independent.
  12. ^ Scuffham, Matt (2013-04-05). "Executive bans urged for colossal HBOS failure | Reuters". Retrieved 2015-11-19. 

External links[edit]

New title Chairman of the House of Lords Appointments Commission
Succeeded by
The Lord Jay of Ewelme