/ 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?

LesMead says:
4 July 2012

We need a trial that’s what normally happens after a bank robbery, not a £30m payoff.

PCM says:
4 July 2012

Where the hell did everyone think this sort of money came from if it wasn’t by wheeling & dealing?
From the PM downwards (whether by taxation or bonuses or share dividends) they all took their share
and kept their mouths shut. They broke the Eleventh Commandment – Thou shall not get found out.

4 July 2012

‘They broke the Eleventh Commandment – Thou shall not get found out’.


Closely followed by the 12th Commandment, -‘Don’t Do As I Do , Do As I Say’!


Jonathan says:
6 July 2012

a couple of years ago, Directors of a business that about fifty people worked for (including myself), acted illegally and went on to exploit the staff.

Then, the same unscrupulous Directors simply used holes in Employment law to withhold staff wages and ultimately cheat employees out of the money that they had worked hard to earn.

Despite Employment Tribunals agreeing that staff were treated badly, the High Court said that they are powerless to help because their is noting stopping this in law.

Now, to rub salt in the wound, the local MP and Government officials simply dodge the issue by claiming that it is not in the public interest to do anything about this matter, whilst refusing to have the Directors struck off, failing to introduce new laws to outlaw these kinds of sharp practices, and not even bothering to call for an inquiry into this scandal.

Anthony WALKER says:
6 July 2012

What is the point of fining Barclays – The Account Holders are the ones who pay the fines – not the Company! A better ploy would have been to fine the CEO, Managing Directors, and Board personally together with this responsible.

I worry about the MP’s holding an equity first, which will surely negate any possibility of criminal proceedings, into the Libor Scandal. At the end of the day, we are all subject of the laws of the Country, and that includes Parliament! That legal process must come first ………. or, are the MP’s trying to hide something? Something is not right here!

MikeP says:
6 July 2012

some 15 years ago after a discussion on a foreign nation’s corruption I said to my wife “if you could lift the lid on the establishment in the UK you would find corruption that makes theirs seem like kindergarten stuff”
I rest my case- but can any of us honestly say that we would not be up for making a fast “buck” given the chance?
Let him that is without sin cast the first stone
A country’s moral standards are set by it’s Leaders and it is a long time since we have had good examples to follow!!

Jenny says:
6 July 2012

I would hope that I wouldn’t be ‘up for making a fast ”buck” given the chance’.
And I really hope Im not the only one…

No you’re not the only one Jenny – there are plenty of decent, honest citizens out there who put public service before private gain. Stinkers though they are, we mustn’t let a handful of rotten apples spoil the whole barrel – but there’s a good case for tipping the barrel over and scraping out all the ones that are rotten to the core.

pd. says:
6 July 2012

So they are at it again, just a different version. If the telephone calls have been monitored and the emails can be retrieved, then the “traders” can be identified and can therefore be prosecuted. When found guilty, they should go to prison [not an open one], and all bonuses should be taken back. Crime should not pay.

rotten system, rotten laws, rotten country…get used to it…this is how it is.

Patrick says:
6 July 2012

D’ont waste our money prosecuting – make the banks compensate ordinary borrowers and depositors for our losses following any corrupt behavior. Hit them in the pockets …. that hurts.

Lynne says:
6 July 2012

The flagrant corruption of our big business leaders is only superseded by the flagrant corruption of our politicians, and there is no sign of any of these developing an iota of conscience. Fortunately, I believe there is an answer: support the current swing back to the people’s co-operative model of working – peer to peer lending, and the John Lewis model of ownership, for example. When the current economic crisis eases, those greedy fatcats will discover they have no business left.

Jenny says:
6 July 2012

Looks good to me

I have always been an enthusiast for the cooperative and mutual models.

Believe me Lynne, it won’t get better……..’flagrant corruption’ as you so rightly describe the ghastly scene, never does………

The law concerning limited liability should be changed so that the board of directors (including chairmen and C E O’s) are held liable for any malpractice performed by the business and its employees without any limit. In addition any vote concerning directors remuneration, bonouses etc. should be held on the basis of only one vote per share holding irrespective of the size of the share holding

Bob Kirton says:
7 July 2012

Why ever not?

Joan says:
12 July 2012

I do not know when these ‘bonuses’ first started, but why have them. In my jobs I always did the best job I could for the wage I worked for, every day. I did not expect to get a ‘bonus’ because I earned more money for my boss in any particular month or year. I worked with pigs and it was a matter of pride to increase production, not done because I would get a ‘bonus’. It’s about time we took more pride in our work again. Yes, some bosses take advantage of this, but that’s their loss. Don’t come down to their level. Lead by example!!

Mark C says:
4 August 2012

Very interested to see that nearly all the comments seem to move towards no trust in the bankers or the controls in place by the FSA to control them. Althought the FSA seem to have got tougher on them. Which is a good step from them being controlled by the banks and just there for show.
However they always come in too late and sweep up after the fact. What about controls for prevention before it happens!!!
My libor tracking mortgage has been directly affected by the Libor fixings rates so I am very interested in the compensation proceedure now as this has costs me £100s if not £1000s already. Anyone have any news on the way forward?

Staggering that a set of brokers, the youngest a mere 24 year old when the scandal erupted where hauled before the courts and displayed to all of us as the perpetrators of this crime.

Are they really trying to convince us that a multi billion pound fraud can have been enacted for the price of a few curries and the like – disgusted to the core is what I am.

This stinks of corruption at the highest level within Barclays and the fact that such low level minions where targeted also suggest that the ‘investigation’ was manipulated to hide the true perpetrators of the crime. All the more worrying is that the SFO is either incompetent or in receipt of some of the booty – we will never know for sure – but a pattern is emerging. High profile = no arrests. Law for the common man – protection for the elite.

Shame on you SFO for not doing your job. Perhaps your talents are best spent on apprehending criminals who steal bottles of water and such petty offences.