Sir Hector Sants, a former chief City regulator, is due to give evidence to the high court in private in relation to a case brought by Lloyds Banking Group shareholders over the information they were provided at the time of the HBOS takeover in 2008.
The former chief executive of the Financial Services Authority made an application in July to allow him to give evidence in private. This can now be reported after an application to the high court made by five media organisations, including the Guardian, to establish what the judge had described as the “special arrangements” that have been put in place for him to give evidence.
Mr Justice Norris made his judgment after hearing the application by the Guardian, the Financial Times, Daily Mail publisher Associated Newspapers, the Times and Bloomberg.
He made his judgment as the fourth day of the case brought by the shareholders began.
About 6,000 Lloyds investors are claiming £600m in compensation on the basis that they were not told about loans being made to HBOS when they voted through the takeover in November 2008. The claim is against Lloyds and five of its former directors, including the former chairman Sir Victor Blank and former chief executive Eric Daniels, who are all contesting the claim.
Lloyds announced the HBOS deal in September 2008 just days after Lehman Brothers collapsed, marking the beginning of the financial crash. The government eventually took a 43% stake in the enlarged Lloyds Banking Group, but it no longer owns any shares after selling its final tranche in May.
Norris told the court that he was “not conducting a public inquiry” into the events that took place in 2008.
The case is scheduled to run for 14 weeks and Sants is expected to give evidence in December. The FSA has now been replaced with the Financial Conduct Authority.
Blank and Daniels are scheduled to give evidence in the coming weeks along with three other former directors named in the case: former finance director Tim Tookey, ex-head of retail Helen Weir and former head of wholesale banking Truett Tate.
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