Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Jail the Bankers, says UK Report

Ever since the financial meltdown of 2007, bankers and rating agencies responsible for much of the damage done to the world's financial systems have escaped criminal liability (apart from a small number of cases).

The USA ignored the responsibility of bankers for the 2007 Crash, preferring to pump money into the failing banks and other industries.

In the UK and on the Continent, something similar happened.

But now things might be changing, based on a report just released by Britain's cross-party Parliamentary Commission on Banking Standards:

The robustly-worded report said: "Too many bankers, especially at the most senior levels, have operated in an environment with insufficient personal responsibility.
 "Senior executives were aware that they would not be punished for what they could not see and promptly donned the blindfolds.

"Where they could not claim ignorance, they fell back on the claim that everyone was party to a decision, so that no individual could be held squarely to blame - the Murder on the Orient Express defence."

The report advocated:
  • senior bankers should be assigned clear personal responsibilities, with the legal onus on them to show they have done all that is reasonably required
  • recklessly disregarding these responsibilities should be made a criminal offence - including a possible prison sentence
Let's hope that Prime Minister David Cameron has the intestinal fortitude to implement these recommendations.

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