I have just finished reading the report on the HBOS failure by the Parliamentary Commission on Banking Standards. It is a fascinating report into why HBOS failed and the extent of the bank's risk taking in the years leading up to the crisis. The press has focussed on how the report criticises the bank's former executives and chairman. However, the FSA (the UK's financial regulator at the time of HBOS's failure) also comes in for heavy criticism. There is also a suggestion in the report that the Government's ring-fence proposals to make the banking system safer would not have prevented HBOS from failing as it had no investment banking activities. Unsurprisingly, there is no criticism of the politicians who allowed (and encouraged?) banks to pursue aggressive asset growth in the 2000s!