In 2001 HBOS was formed from a merger of Halifax and Bank of Scotland. HBOS’ share price peaked at over 1150p in February 2007, but then started to fall, and in 2008 the gap between loans and deposits was £213bn. On 17 September 2008, very shortly after the demise of Lehman Brothers, HBOS’s share price suffered wild fluctuations and HBOS announced it was in advanced takeover talks with Lloyds TSB to create a “super bank” with 38 million customers to stop it from going bust. The deal was cited as one of the main reasons that Lloyds was later partly nationalised. After the takeover, Lloyds Banking Group announced that HBOS had made a pre-tax loss of £10.8bn in 2008.
After the takeover by Lloyds Hornby was retained on a consultancy contract by Lloyds Banking Group. After leaving HBOS he joined Alliance Boots as CEO in 2009, earning up to £2.1million, receiving £2.4m when leaving in 2011.
In 2011, he joined Gala Coral Group as CEO of Coral Retail, the bookmaking arm. This was one of three Gala Coral businesses that was combined with Ladbrokes to form a gambling giant worth £2bn. The management of Gala Coral, held a 5% shareholding in the enlarged company, giving them a joint shareholding worth around £100m. He reportedly received a bonus after the take-over.
Hornby was appointed Chief Operating Officer of the whole group and Coral, which is owned by private equity firms takes over publicly traded Ladbrokes.