Call for Sir Victor Blank to get Fred Goodwin treatment

By Jennifer Lipman, February 6, 2012

Campaigners have called for former Lloyds chairman Sir Victor Blank to be treated in the same way as Fred Goodwin and be stripped of his knighthood.

Sir Victor was knighted in 1999 "for services to the financial industry" before he joined Lloyds, but critics argue his role in its disastrous takeover of HBOS four years ago means he should have the honour annulled. The bank required a £21 billion state rescue package during his tenure as chairman.

The Lloyds Action Now Association, which acts on behalf of Lloyds' investors, has written to the head of the Civil Service demanding that the forfeiture committee review the case.

Jillian Timmis, who founded the association, said it seemed right "that others who have been honoured for services to the finance industry should be similarly censored".

The decision to revoke Mr Goodwin's title has been criticised as a political stunt, with warnings over its consequences for the business sector.

But according to the Daily Telegraph, removing the honours given to Sir Victor and others has the backing of some Conservative MPs. One MP compared the former Lloyds executives to "the guys on the last helicopter out of Saigon, while we were taking it up the chuff from Ho Chi Minh".

The FSA is currently working on a report looking into the disintegration of HBOS-Lloyds.

Soon after he resigned from Lloyds, Sir Victor, a former chair of Trinity Mirror newsgroup, was appointed as an unpaid adviser on overseas investment to the then Labour government.

Sir Victor is involved in several arms of the Jewish community, serving as the chairman of the UJS Hillel board and as a member of the Jewish Leadership Council.

Last updated: 2:45pm, February 6 2012