Cummings, who was the head of HBOS corporate banking from 2006 to 2008, has been singled out by the Financial Services Authority for his role in the unravelling of HBOS. The bank aggressively pursued 'high risk, sub-investment grade lending' under his tenure, says the FSA, 'and Cummings' standard of conduct during the relevant period fell below that which would have been reasonable in all the circumstances.' Ouch.
Cummings has called the whole process a witchhunt, saying: 'The FSA has never had to prove its case to anyone other than itself, and sits safe in the knowledge that few individuals can afford to take it on.' Without a doubt, Cummings' fine and ban from the City is the harshest penalty imposed on any senior banking figures implicated in the financial crisis.