News commentary and predictions of political trends and what the future holds

Banking Integrity

July 31, 2012

“RBS is said to have paid £25m to just one businessman who was mis-sold products intended to protect against interest rate rises.” – Guardian article

 

The Chief of RBS, one Stephen Hester was given the bank to run after nearly failing when the Brown Labour Government decided to intervene to protect the seventh largest bank in the world after it very nearly failed due to exposure to the derivatives market, the PPI debacle costs, and the mis-selling of derivatives resulting in costs such as the above case.

After the terrifyingly real fiasco of the failure of their computer systems that locked out some users for up to one month and many users for days in the National Westminster crisis, Hester cancelled his year’s bonuses after public amazement that such failures on top of massive losses should be rewarded with bonuses out of step with natural justice.  Good on him.

But is it is rather odd that a man sent in to fix things should leave so much unfixed?  Is the banking culture so infiltrated by greed that their personal enrichment is all that counts for them?  The public who trust banks to have fiscal integrity hope for a bank that can be honest with them, with themselves and that promote an extremely high level of integrity and transparency.

The talk of separation of the investment and savings arms of the bank has remained just talk for far too long.  Banking is an integral part of the financial system.  Time to get it right.

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