Whistle Blower

The phone rang. It was Paul Moore, who found fame as a whistleblower on financial malpractice. Someone had told him I had included  his story in  my book The Cowshed Revolution.

Prior to the final collapse in September 2007 of HBOS, the high street bank's executive with the job of risk assessment outlined to the company's board the extent to which the unwise lending policies were putting the company and the shareholders' investments at risk. Subsequent to expressing his views he was threatened by one company individual who eyeballed him across the table: 'I'm warning you: don't make a f....g enemy out of me'. Moore was then grossly defamed by an 'independent' report prepared by the firm who worked for HBOS as auditors, and then summarily sacked. On informing his wife, she responded: 'Don't worry Paul, it's all part of God's plan'. Some time later, when the collapse of the bank was being critically examined by a UK parliamentary Treasury Select Committee Paul felt that God prompted him to 'do it now' and supply details to the committee which were explosive. Subsequently,  Sir James Crosby who as head of HBOS from 2001 - 2006 had fired Moore, resigned as deputy chairman of the Financial Services Authority, the body tasked by the Government to oversee the operation of the financial sector. Paul was widely quoted as calling for 'capitalism with a conscience'.

 'We must work together', he said on the phone, and proceeded to tell me of three initiatives he is spearheading. Banking on Change aims to create a groundswell for honest and regulated banking. A New Wilberforce aims to recruit and deploy  a core team of modern Wilberforces who will campaign to free the world of slavery to money  Build a Better World  aims to develop collaborative community capitalism through thousands of social enterprises, and to change public habits through films and other media.

Paul keeps a daily rhythm of prayer, and sometimes joins the monks at Ampleforth Abbey, which is near his home. I, too, keep a daily rhythm of prayer and am fired by his vision.  But whether I could keep up with him is a different matter.

Posted at 06:48am on 24th May 2012
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