The Great Debate UK
from The Great Debate:
Banking integrity has become an oxymoron. Top bankers need to change this and take responsibility for tackling ethical issues. For this to happen, every part of the organization – from senior management to human resources managers to those on the trading floor and beyond – should be assessed according to the contribution it makes to promoting ethical values, not just the bottom line.
The investigations into the LIBOR rate-rigging scandal showed how commonplace bribery among dealers had become. For example, between September 2008 and August 2009 a single trader at the Royal Bank of Scotland had made corrupt payments to interbank brokers on 30 occasions, by means of risk-free transactions known as "wash trades."
While the likes of Barclays and RBS have acknowledged wrongdoings and vowed to change course, it’s no longer enough to mollify critics with soothing words, apologies and empty gestures.
That is why we at Transparency International are challenging banks to immediately initiate sustained industry-wide reforms. These reforms should have the clear commitment and buy-in of the most senior bank executives. A new generation of banking management is needed, one that is prepared to devote as much time and money to developing ethical standards as they once spent on circumventing them.
–Laurence Copeland is a professor of finance at Cardiff University Business School. The opinions expressed are his own.–
The LIBOR scandal will run and run, and it is far too soon to say where it will all end. Nonetheless, there are two conclusions that we can already draw from it.
-Jeremy Edwards is Head of Banking & Financial Services at Firstsource Solutions. The opinions expressed are his own.-
The recent publication of Sir John Vickers’ International Commission on Banking (ICB) finally gave the banking industry a glimpse of the long-promised change in regulatory regimes following the global financial crisis. The report comes at the same time as a torrent of new regulations and legal changes: the recent High Court ruling on the misselling of payment protection insurance (which is estimated to cost the banks £8 billion), the Treasury report on financial regulation, and the Basel III regulations that will force banks to hold greater liquidity. If adopted, many of these recommendations will create unprecedented change for the banking industry.
– Hugo Dixon is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own –
The new UK coalition deserves 7 out of 10. The pact between the Conservative and Liberal Democrat parties, led by David Cameron as the new prime minister, seems determined to address the country’s most important problem — the deficit. This is vital given that the euro zone debt crisis could still prove contagious. It should also be positive for sterling.
– Mark Hannam is a guest columnist, the views expressed are his own. He formerly worked at the Bank of England. He currently chairs Fair Finance, a microfinance company. The views expressed are his own. –
George Osborne’s proposals to reform the UK’s system of financial regulation make for good short-term politics but bad long-term policy. He should think again.
from The Great Debate:
The U.S. policy of keeping zombie financial institutions alive is so clearly failing that it is now attracting attack from inside policymakers' circle of covered wagons.
The most interesting intervention in the banking debate in the past few weeks was an extraordinary attack by Kansas City Federal Reserve President Thomas Hoenig on what he termed a policy of "piecemeal" nationalization which leaves discredited management in place, repels new capital from the banking system and allows bad assets to fester rather than be cleared.