Friday, 6 December 2013

Solution to banking malpractice

There has to come a time when enough is enough, and a political party has to commit itself to take action to remedy the situation. It`s not going to be the Tories! Not content with their excessive greed causing the most serious financial disaster for decades, possibly ever, the banks have continued as normal since 2008, but with  added scams like mis-selling insurance to its own customers, avoiding EU imposed bonus caps by increasing salaries by 35%, "colluding to fix interest rate benchmarks", laundering Mexican drug money, and apparently manipulating the foreign currency markets. They also, of course, failed to use the £375bn, given to them through quantitative easing, to lend to businesses and kickstart the economy, clearly much more concerned with the profits for their shareholders and the bonuses for themselves.How can we be expected to believe managers who condemn the behaviour of wrong-doing individuals in their banks, and distance themselves from the crimes, especially as we remember such hollow-sounding commitments  from CEOs as "changing the way we do business" and "putting ethics above earnings", as Jenkins of Barclays famously said?  Fining them every time a misdemeanour is discovered is the current method of dealing with them, and it`s clearly not acting as a deterrent, with the recent fine for RBS equating to "its revenue for five weeks".
Isn`t the answer not just obvious but essential? A proposal from Labour for a nationalised bank in which we can trust, one where profit is not the sole motive, and where excess profits could be earmarked for spending on the NHS, for example. would have the additional electoral benefit for them of dissociating the party from the City, and making the necessary statement that it is fundamentally different from the Tories. Also, it would provide the "competitor" bank the high street needs, and by attracting customers away from the established banks, force them to mend their ways, and start employing people to run their businesses and investments with decent values.

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