Hybrid capital: It all ends in tiers
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Hybrid capital: It all ends in tiers

Intrigue surrounds FSA views of an HBOS tier 1 deal. And the future’s not Bright for the bank’s funding chief.

Participants in UK financial institutions debt capital markets have been fascinated by the manoeuvrings at HBOS over the past few weeks.

The first bit of intrigue surrounds the status of Claire Bright, head of asset and liability management of HBOS Treasury Services. Officials at the UK bank stated that Bright was “on leave” and would make no further comment on her current standing. But given that her duties have been divided up among her former colleagues, according to non-HBOS sources, it seems unlikely that she will be returning soon.

The tittle-tattle is rather surprising because the dynamic, likeable and highly regarded Bright has been at HBOS for only a little over a year. In that time she has overseen an overhaul of the funding activities of the bank, the biggest independent financial institution player in the capital markets. Bright’s role was a new one, created after the departure of Tony Main, who ran funding and liquidity until May 2004. In effect Cliff Pattenden, who took over from Lindsey Mackay as head of treasury at HBOS in late 2003, has now lost two funding chiefs in less than two years.

At first the rumours surrounding Bright were linked to completely baseless suggestions that HBOS’s latest dollar tier 1 transaction ($1.5

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