The Review of HM Treasury’s’ management response to the financial crisis highlights a series of failings around staff numbers and appropriate skills.
It reveals the team leader for Northern Rock changed three times between the run on the bank in September and nationalisation in February.
Expertise were revealed to be “thin on the ground” with most staff having merely general knowledge and facing a steep learning curve in financial matters.
The report quotes one senior official describing the reliance on the Bank of England and FSA.
He says: “Colleagues at the FSA were sometimes the only genuine experts we could draw on and fully trust. Sometimes there were misgivings about their speed and the strategic awareness of their advice, but without them we wouldn’t have coped. By and large they have provided us high quality and professional advice, and they were very collaborative in their approach.”
The report says there remain key challenges for the Treasury to build up its financial services skills.
It states that it must improve on generalists and use individuals with specific skills sets whether internally or externally.