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Ex-RBS chief Hourican defends record despite Libor

John Hourican, former RBS director. Picture: Contributed

John Hourican, former RBS director. Picture: Contributed

  • by MARTIN FLANAGAN
 

JOHN Hourican, the former Royal Bank of Scotland director who quit over its part in the Libor-rigging scandal, yesterday claimed he and former chief executive Stephen Hester should have received some “acknowledgement” for saving the group.

Hourican, who headed the investment bank, cut its balance sheet by two-thirds and made 10,000 staff redundant following the taxpayer bail-out. Yesterday, he said: “I don’t expect any thanks.

“We were well paid, after all, but a gentle acknowledgement to the people who left the company [Hourican in January and Hester in October] having rescued it from Armageddon would of course be nice.

“The City of London believes we did a good job. Everyone thinks I did the right thing in terms of my own actions,” he told The Independent newspaper.

Some traders at RBS colluded in sending in false submissions on Libor – the rate at which banks lend to each other and the basis for millions of other transactions – to the British Banking Association.

Hourican resigned over the matter, although the bank later issued a statement clearing him of any knowledge or responsibility for the illegal practices.

He waived his right to bonuses worth £4m when he left, and became chief executive of debt-laden Bank of Cyprus last October.

“I hope my resignation sent a shudder down the organisation saying people need to take responsibility for things that happen on their watch.”

He said that during the Libor manipulation he was focused on rescuing “a bust bank”. Hourican added that he did not consider “data submission to a trade association was a high-risk part of what we were running”.

RBS was fined a total of £390 million by UK and US regulators.

Hourican’s new employers went bust through a mixture of bad lending and failed investments in Greek bonds.

Euan Hamilton, former deputy chief executive of RBS’s non-core arm, joined Hourican at Bank of Cyprus last month to deal with a loan book that is 40 per cent non-performing.

 

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