The proud black horse goes to the knacker’s yard

That title won over from “Firing Blank?”

It would seem that the position of Victor Blank, Chairman of Lloyds Banking group, is somewhat fragile, after the government has taken a 75% share (effectively) in his bank. This after the Lloyds TSB part made a £807m profit last year, overshadowed by £11bn loss for HBOS, a few months after he decided to buy it.

Greed. That’s what all this banking crisis boils down to, and certainly it’s at the heart of the Lloyds disaster.

At the time of the HBOS takeover announcement, I imagined Lloyds directors salivating at the prospect of buying a long term competitor at a knock-down price, with competition rules waived. They must have been dreaming of it for years.

More fool them.

If you’d said five years ago, or even five months ago, that the government would end up owning 75% of Lloyds, Halifax and Bank of Scotland (plus all the other shares/nationalisation) I’d have thought you were completely mad.

But it has happened. That proud bank, Lloyds, which was founded in 1765 and which families have used for generations. That watchword for reliability and stability. That nexus of the proud and dynamic British financial system.

It has now had to be bailed out by the taxpayer to the tune of three quarters of its ownership.

It is unbelievable.

But I am delighted that the government has finally seen sense and this time will install active directors on the board of Lloyds Banking Group. Hallejujah! At last, sense has prevailed!