The Dame Linda Dobbs Review
Dame Linda Dobbs DBE has been appointed by Lloyds Banking Group ("LBG") to consider whether the issues relating to HBOS Reading were investigated and appropriately reported to authorities at the time by LBG, following its acquisition of HBOS.
The independent legal assessment will cover the period following HBOS’s acquisition by LBG, in January 2009, through to the conclusion of criminal proceedings commenced against six individuals in connection with the HBOS Reading fraud. In addition, the Review will examine relevant evidence from before 2009 in order to assess what LBG knew or should reasonably have known about what happened at HBOS Reading by the time of the acquisition.
Dame Linda's appointment was announced by LBG on 26 April 2017. LBG's announcement is available here.
I want to update you on the progress of my Review into Lloyds Banking Group’s handling of the HBOS Reading affair. We have encountered significant delays in concluding interviews with a number of important witnesses. This is having a material impact on the timing of the Review.
Previously, I indicated that we hoped to be able to complete witness interviews during the course of the summer. However, it is now clear that the interviewing process will need to run into early next year. There are two main reasons for this. First, we have identified some additional witnesses that we need to interview. Second, it has proved difficult to schedule interviews with certain witnesses – some of whom have heavy professional commitments and not all are based in the UK.
As the Dobbs Review is a non-statutory inquiry, I do not have powers of compulsion and so I have to rely on the willingness and availability of witnesses to give evidence to the Review.
I know this is little consolation to those of you who suffered as a result of the HBOS Reading fraud and want to see the Review completed. I made a promise to do a thorough investigation. In order to make good that promise, those witnesses need to be interviewed. As already indicated, I will include a detailed explanation in my report of our approach and the work involved.
When we have finished interviewing witnesses, there will still be a significant amount of work required to draw together all of the evidence and reach my conclusions before I submit the report to Lloyds Banking Group.
Dame Linda Dobbs
Dame Linda will assess whether, between 19 January 2009 and 30 January 2017, information about issues relating to HBOS Reading which LBG knew, or should have known about through reasonable diligence, was properly investigated and appropriately reported to the relevant authorities. As part of this assessment, the Review will examine relevant evidence from before 2009 in order to assess what LBG knew or should reasonably have known about what happened at HBOS Reading by the time of the acquisition.
Further detail as to the Scope of the Review is available here.
To view a copy of the guide, click here.
The Review welcomes comment and submissions from interested parties. Evidence or information relevant to the inquiry should be submitted directly via email to email@example.com.
A copy of Dame Linda's announcement inviting submissions is available here.
A message from Dame Linda Dobbs to Witnesses - May 2022 and previous messages can be found here.
LBG’s clear position is that anyone with relevant information can provide it to the Review. The confirmation letter is available here.
Dame Linda was the first non-white High Court judge to be appointed in the UK and before that she was a leading barrister and QC, specializing in fraud and white collar crime cases. Her professional biography is available here.
All media enquiries concerning the Review should be addressed to:
Peter Wilson-Smith +44 (0)20 7043 4604 or +44 (0)7979 526152
Jimmy Chen +44 (0)20 7043 4606 or +44 (0)7787 492922