Criminal bankers, interest rate spikes & mythical holidays
I assume we will be seeing bankers in court, as UK Chancellor George Osborne is set to implement a reform suggested by the Parliamentary Commission on Banking Standards, namely introducing a new criminal offence: “reckless misconduct in the management of a bank”. Pandering to populism, it is aimed at capturing bank CEOs and directors.
But should not our new, state-of-the-art regulatory system be in the dock right now? The prosecuting lawyer would surely argue there was “reckless misconduct in the supervision of a bank” when the Co-operative Group’s bank was rescued last month. After all, there were plenty of warning signs when in 2012 the bank plunged to a £674m loss amidst almost £470m in write-downs due to commercial property loans acquired via a takeover in 2009.