Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

London and the UK Need Well-Run Banks

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

London and the UK Need Well-Run Banks

Article excerpt

IT IS hard not to agree with the Governor of the Bank of England's conclusion that "something went very wrong with the UK banking industry". The scandal now engulfing Britain's banks looks like a systemic failure. Barclays' [pounds sterling]290 million fine for manipulating Libor and Euribor interest rates is serious enough. But the FSA's judgment against Barclays, HSBC, Lloyds and RBS for mis-selling insurance is in some ways even more shocking. Not only will compensation payments total up to [pounds sterling]1.4 billion, the bulk of it from Barclays; unlike the Libor scam, there were real, small business victims of the mis-selling scandal.

The immediate furore is over whether Barclays chief executive Bob Diamond can now survive. He yesterday refused to resign, blaming the Libor scandal on a "small number" of employees. Yet like Cabinet ministers, business leaders put their stamp and ethical expectations on their organisations: they should take responsibility for what happens on their watch. …

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