One of the largest claims to be brought against a British bank and its directors after the global financial crisis will open tomorrow in the High Court in London.
Some 6,000 claimants who were shareholders in Lloyds TSB are bringing the landmark action against Lloyds Banking Group and five of its former directors, all of whom are expected to be called to give evidence.
The claimants allege that the directors acted in breach of duty when advising them that the acquisition of HBOS in 2009 was in their best interests.
In July, the High Court ordered the Department for Business, Enterprise and Industrial Strategy to disclose all documents that were submitted to the Competition Appeal Tribunal in 2008.
That so-called secret dossier is understood to contain documents and submissions from the various government authorities, as well as Lloyds and HBOS, which were relied on at a private hearing held in December 2008 to decide whether the acquisition should be referred to the Competition Commission.
The London law firm for the claimant shareholder action group, Harcus Sinclair, anticipates that a decision on whether those documents must remain confidential during the course of this trial will be made by Mr Justice Norris at the start of the hearing tomorrow at the Rolls Building.
A spokesman for the action group said: “As well as hearing directly from the director defendants, we will also finally get to the bottom of the role played by the government, the Bank of England, the UK Listing Authority and the FSA [Financial Services Authority] in pushing the deal through and relaxing competition rules, without which this deal could not have happened.”