Another casulty of the crisis?

2008

The sort of aggressive, grow–at-any-cost leadership epitomised by the suddenly vilified Richard Fuld looks likely to be another casualty of this week seismic events on the financial markets? And a good thing too.

Because while Fuld and his ilk were busy owing the seeds of their own destruction, another American banker, Eric Daniels, CEO of LloydsTSB, was steadfastly holding out against pressure to join the herd and turn a UK high street bank into an aggressive, acquisitive, international financial services colossus.

As a result of focussing only on what Daniels insisted was "sustainable growth", LloydsTSB went from being the UK's biggest bank as recently as 1999 to number five in the rankings this year.

Meanwhile, HBOS (the result of the merger between the Halifax building society and Bank of Scotland), appointed a 38-year old with a background in retail, rather than finance, as CEO and set off to reinvent itself as the sort of outfit that wouldn't look out of place on Wall Street.

The trouble was, as Chris Blackhurst explains in the Evening Standard, " many of those at the top had no idea what those below were up to."

As a result of which, a company that proudly offers on its website "links will help you find out more about our history, archives and cultural heritage, stretching back over 300 years" is no more, leaving some 70,000 staff with an uncertain future.

As the Telegraph puts it the tortoise has well and truly beaten the hare. Let's just hope the tortoise doesn't choke on the aftermath.

  Categories: