MPs have hit out after it emerged that the publication of a report into the collapse of Halifax Bank of Scotland has been delayed until after the General Election.

Insiders expect the findings will not now be unveiled until at least the autumn.

Almost seven years have passed since HBOS required a multi-billion pound taxpayer-funded bail out at the height of the financial crisis.

Coalition Business Secretary and Lib Dem MP Vince Cable said the latest delay was 'totally unsatisfactory'.

It is not the only report that will not be published until after May's election.

Many MPs are furious that the results of the high-profile Chilcot inquiry into the Iraq war will also not be made public before voters go to the polls.

The HBOS report is expected to conclude whether or not regulators should take action against individuals involved in the collapse of the bank.

In 2013 James Crosby, the former chief executive, was formally stripped of his knighthood following a scathing Westminster report into the collapse of the Scottish bank.

The Parliamentary Commission on Banking Standards found that he had been the "architect of the strategy that set the course for disaster" in his handling of HBOS.

The previous year Peter Cummings, a former HBOS banker, was fined £500,000 and banned for life from working in the financial sector by regulators.

Lloyds took over HBOS, which owned Halifax and Bank of Scotland, during the financial crisis.

However, the then Labour government ended up with a 39% stake in the new Lloyds Banking Group.

The investigation into HBOS's collapse was launched by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) in September 2012 and was due to be published the following year.

The latest delay is thought to be triggered partly by the fact that those criticised in the report can challenge what is written about them before publication.

Cathy Jamieson, Labour's Treasury spokesman, said: 'We want this report to be published as soon as possible. Nobody will take any lectures from the Tories when they repeatedly complained the last government was too tough on regulation.'

A spokesman for the FCA said: 'We are committed to publishing the report as soon as possible but the legal process of (consulting those mentioned) is currently under way and this can take some time.'