/ Money

Prosecute bankers when banks break the law

Barclays’ chairman Marcus Agius has resigned, admitting the rate-fixing scandal has unveiled ‘unacceptable standards of behaviour’. But it’s too little too late, and doesn’t fix the corruption at the heart of the system.

It’s all too easy for bankers to admit guilt when someone’s been caught, particularly when they’ve already pocketed millions in salary and bonuses over the years. What we really need is for those found responsible to be hauled before the courts.

And most of you agree: in our survey, almost eight in ten of you said that where banks have broken the law, individuals should be personally prosecuted.

But how can we fix the broken banking system? The Financial Services Authority doesn’t exactly inspire confidence, with only one in five of you saying that it’s effective in regulating UK banks.

Restoring consumer confidence

Consumers also have low confidence in the government to handle the banking crisis effectively. Two thirds say the government will not act in their best interests when implementing banking reform.

As a first step, the banking sector should be referred to the Competition Commission immediately. More competition is essential to force a change in the culture of British banking.

Secondly, let’s claw back bonuses. The manipulation of Libor, the rate at which banks lend to each other, will have led to a direct increase in Barclays’ profits and share price, and therefore to an increase in executive pay. It’s not enough for people at the top to apologise, or even resign. The scale of the problem is such that those found responsible should be brought to book and their bonuses repaid.

How the scandal impacts you

The recent systems failure at NatWest and RBS inconvenienced millions of people, but reeked of incompetence rather than intent. Barclays’ intentional manipulation of Libor has had a less tangible impact on consumers, but it’s a fair bet that millions of us will have lost out indirectly.

Rest assured, we’re trying to find out if retail banking customers lost any money because of Libor rigging, and if so, how and when they will get compensation.

So, how do you think those responsible should be held to account for their actions?

Comments
Member

I don’t know why we have to discuss this…..corrupt activities have been perpetrated & had we non-banking people done similar things we’d be put in jail. It boils down to politicians protecting their utterly dodgy chums & probably stock & shares as well.

Member
Bill Smith says:
6 July 2012

I agree wholeheartedly, it is high time that heads rolled for this sort of behaviour. All too often the perpetrators get off scot-free or with a gentle wigging. It’s time big business was brought to book for deliberate manipulations of this nature. It’s always the shareholders and account holders that lose out when this sort of thing happens, never the bosses who allowed it to happen in the first place. So Bob Diamond and his cronies have resigned but it shouldn’t stop there, what about all the so called ‘performance bonusses’ they have pocketed over the years that this has been going on? They should be paid back, with interest, after all they have had the benefit of interest wherever they have stashed it. OK, rant over.

Member
frances says:
2 July 2012

The problem is, who would sit in judgement ?
Who is independent ?
Who would put morality above making a fast buck,
or fiddling the expenses ?

“Screw thy neighbour” seems to be the order of the day.

Member
FINSBURYPARKER says:
2 July 2012

‘Laws are spider webs through which the big flies pass and the little ones get caught’.

Honore de Balzac

Member

I never hear anything about ‘Conscience’ these days…..it always was a faculty, intuition or judgment or an aptitudef the intellect that distinguishes right from wrong but it seems to be lost to the modern world.
Oh…the good old days….

Member
Jenny says:
2 July 2012

When and in which country were these good old days?!

Member
FINSBURYPARKER says:
2 July 2012

‘Oh…the good old days’….
___________________________________

‘When and in which country were these good old days’?!

As much as it galls me, I have to agree with Jenny,…..If Jenny reads this,….Jenny,…You’ll never know what this cost me! Yuk, yuk, yuk!

Regards!

Member
frances says:
2 July 2012

One wit some time ago described ‘Conscience’
“as that sneaky feeling somebody may be watching”.

Member

In giving his public relations apology, the chief executive of Barclays said the malpractices revealed were inconsistent with the culture and values of the bank. I beg to disagree. They were entirely consistent with the culture of greed, misrepresentation, corruption, corporate cupidity, and dedicated defalcation that characterises modern banking at every level. The bonus system is possibly at the root of it; a deduction for adverse media coverage might tip the scales in favour of probity and honorable conduct. A week in Afghanistan sitting on an open doorstep polishing our soldiers’ shoes might also concentrate the mind.