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Sensitive information can be used in Lloyds-HBOS trial, UK court rules

A U.K. high court ruled that sensitive government documents can be freely deployed in the Lloyds Banking Group Plc trial regarding the bank's takeover of HBOS Plc in 2008, the Financial Times reported Oct. 17.

The Department for Business, Enterprise and Industrial Strategy had given the lawyers of a 6,000-member investor group 12 sensitive documents, but made them the subject of a confidentiality order, after a court agreed on their relevance to the case. The papers included guidance on regulating and managing financial stability problems from the British regulators at the time of the 2008 financial crisis, according to the report.

The claimants, all of whom were shareholders in Lloyds TSB when it took over HBOS, say the bank misled them about HBOS' true financial status. A 14-week trial is set to begin Oct. 18 of a legal complaint filed against Lloyds and five former directors in connection with the deal.