With the latest revelation that Barclays fiddled interbank lending rates, it appears that British banks are not only too big to fail, but also thought themselves too big to have to play by the rules
With the latest revelation that Barclays fiddled interbank lending rates, it appears that British banks are not only too big to fail, but also thought themselves too big to have to play by the rules.
Regardless of where you stand on the political spectrum, it’s a matter of fact, not of opinion, that in the years leading up to the financial crisis banks no longer believed they had to uphold the standards of honest business practice expected in any other industry.
Now Barclays chairman Marcus Agius has resigned, saying that ‘the buck stops with me.’ Great, and good riddance, but it’s not enough. It’s also simply not true that the buck stops with him alone.
Bob Diamond is still hanging on to his position, proving once again that he’s the fat cat with nine lives. If Diamond has any dignity, or any loyalty towards the bank he has worked at for almost two decades, he will take responsibility and stand aside.
The financial industry needs to start restoring public trust, and scandals like these are doing nothing to reassure ordinary customers that bankers will not sell them dodgy schemes, gamble away their earnings or bring the country to the brink of economic melt-down.
And unless bankers like Diamond, who’ve been heavily involved in bringing the financial industry into disrepute, start holding their hands up and apologising for their mistakes, in the public consciousness the word ‘banker’ will forever be followed by ‘bashing’.