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HBOS risks the wrath of taxpayers with rewards for managers

While the demise of the HBOS business is in no way directly attributable to the many managers in the operation the news that 100 managers in the HBOS group have been flown to New York with their partners all-expenses-paid, has attracted major criticism from consumer groups. The government is also being pulled into the argument with suggestions that they should be reeling in excessive expenditure such as that seen in the "good times".

It is not so much the fact that staff are being rewarded but more the fact that the business has already taken well in excess of £10 billion from the UK taxpayer with very little return for the consumer. Perhaps if mortgage rates had fallen further, repossessions were less aggressive and general interest rates were more consumer friendly the HBOS directors would not be attracting anywhere near the current level of criticism.

In truth there is nothing that the government can do except try and exert some pressure in the future to ensure that taxpayers do not feel shortchanged or taken advantage of by the banking sector. This will be a true test of Gordon Brown's new policy towards refloating UK economy and could make or break the potential for him to be voted into power at the next general election.

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