Government should be ashamed over HBOS merger, says MSP

MSP Alex Neil has lashed out at the government for overseeing the “unnecessary end” of HBOS.

Neil, MSP for Central Scotland, has been vocal in his opposition of the Lloyds TSB takeover since the deal was first announced.

He says the shareholder decision to accept the merger is “highly regrettable.”

Neil says: “The chancellor and Prime Minister should be ashamed of themselves for presiding over the unnecessary end of one of Scotland’s oldest institutions. The UK government has used every trick in the book to push this takeover through.

“Instead of offering a level playing field and seeking alternatives to save jobs Brown and Darling have consigned up to 40,000 employees to redundancy. Tens of thousands of families up and down the land will suffer as a direct result.”

Neil says the shareholders who bought shares in early 2008 at £2.70 are likely feeling conned as the share price now sits at 70p.

The Merger Action Group, which also campaigned to stop the takeover, says it hopes the merged group will stay competitive.

A MAG spokesman says: “It is always disappointing when an important and well-respected Scottish institution disappears, especially one that has a long and proud history stretching back more than 300 years.

“Now that the vote has been taken we hope the merged bank will maintain the presence, competitiveness and partnership approach which characterised both parties as separate entities and which is vital to the best interests of the banks themselves, their shareholders, customers and staff.