I’ve blogged several times over recent years about such matters as the (lack of) integrity of bankers, the (lack of) ethics of the stock market and the lengths to which those governing this country (especially the current government) seem to have gone to defend the nation’s banking system in the light of public criticism.You might recall that greedy bankers were one of the principal causes of the worldwide financial crisis (and that WE, not the banks, are principally charged with paying for their “errors”)!
You might also recall how, when threatened by the structural reform of their industry, the Banks responded with messages of “don’t push us too hard – because we’re the best hope of reviving the economy”.
You might also recall how our brave, wise UK government eventually decided on a strategy to split the investment and business wings of the nation’s Banks (note: although it’s been in government for more than two years, legislation has STILL not been forthcoming – the proposed Banking Reform Bill was only announced in the Queen’s Speech in May this year). At the time, the Chancellor was reassuring us all that it was simply the speculative (ie. gambling!) side of the banking industry that had been the problem and that his proposed legislation would essentially solve everything!
Oh, how wrong he was!
Yesterday (and some of us would say “not before time”), the Governor of the Bank of England called for a change in banking culture. This followed a week in which UK banks have been accused of mis-selling personal payment insurance; Barclays was fined £290m for fixing a key interest rate; and the UK's big four banks were found to have mis-sold complicated financial products to thousands of small businesses.
But don’t worry your silly little heads... because £100billion of public money is about to be poured into the banks via the chancellor’s “funding for lending” scheme. Everything’s going to be absolutely fine, you’ll see!