Is Crosby’s Sir-cumcision enough?

Marc Shoffman

Both had dreams of a better world. One for world peace, and one for a new force in banking.

Mr Lennon returned his honour in 1969, four years after receiving an MBE, in protest against UK support for the US-Vietnam war.

However, Mr Crosby, who received his in 2006, took seven years to send his knighthood back. In that time, HBoS collapsed, he joined and left the FSA and the UK has been in at least two recessions.

What is the significance of handing back an honour?

Both these dreams have failed. There is still war and the collapse of HBoS, along with other lenders, was the precursor to a financial crisis that still sees businesses fail and unemployment rise.

Mr Lennon’s act can be praised as a moral stand, but is it right to praise Mr Crosby for offering to give up his peerage and cutting his pension rights?

He may have to change his email signature and receive a smaller pension, but how does that help the thousands of staff who lost their jobs at HBoS, or the businesses and homeowners in arrears partly because of the risky lending?

Mr Crosby still has questions to answer. Why is it only right now, five years after the HBoS failure, to recognise that he should give up his honour? Has he only just realised that he did not make such a positive contribution to financial services? Why did it take the Parliamentary Commission on Banking Standards’ report into the HBoS failure to make him act.

Only a full judicial inquiry can answer these and the many other questions of him, regulators and auditors involved in the HBoS shambles.