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UK court set to start hearing case vs. Lloyds over HBOS takeover

The High Court in London is scheduled to begin Oct. 18 a 14-week trial of a legal complaint filed against Lloyds Banking Group Plc and five former directors in connection with the bank's takeover of HBOS Plc in 2008.

The Lloyds/HBOS Shareholder Action Group, which comprises approximately 6,000 claimants, all of whom were shareholders in Lloyds TSB at time, claims that the bank misled them about HBOS' true financial status.

Former Lloyds Chairman Victor Blank, former CEO Eric Daniels, former Finance Director Timothy Tookey, former retail banking head Helen Weir and ex-wholesale banking boss George Truett Tate will be cross-examined during the trial, according to law firm Harcus Sinclair, which represents the shareholder group.

"The trial will show how much the director defendants knew about how bad HBOS was, that they concealed crucial information about HBOS's financial position, and that they should not have recommended the deal on the basis that they did, nor should they have allowed the deal to go ahead on those terms," a spokesperson for the committee of the shareholder group said.

The High Court recently ordered the U.K. Department for Business, Enterprise and Industrial Strategy to hand over documents as part of the £600 million case against former Lloyds directors.