Barclays:: Qatar allegations – more signs of rotten culture

If only the highly intelligent individuals employed by banks would apply their minds to come up with such creative ‘solutions’ for their personal and small business customers

Further pressure mounted on Barclays when it faced fresh allegations on Friday about its relationship with Qatar at the height of the 2008 financial crisis. The Qataris were the main contributors to a £7.3bn lifeline to Barclays that allowed it to avoid a taxpayer bailout. The Financial Times reported that the Serious Fraud Office and the Financial Services Authority are investigating whether Barclays lent Qatar funds to buy shares in the bank.

Barclays boss waives bonus as bank rocked by new Qatar allegations | Business | The Guardian.

Lord Turner “calls it how it is” but even a Public Inquiry may not restore trust

FSA Chairman Adair Turner For a flavour of just why Lord Adair is talking in such terms this extract from the FSA report into the collapse of RBS (published late last year) should help:

“the multiple poor decisions that RBS made suggest that there are likely to have been underlying deficiencies in RBS management, governance and culture which made it prone to make poor decisions.”

Of course this is not the full extent of what went wrong at RBS – I actually don’t believe that this statement adequately covers the scandalous £12bn rights issue, “forced” by Hector Sants (former FSA CEO), aided and abetted by, such as, Goldman Sachs, UBS & Merrill Lynch  IF THIS ISN’T A SPECTAULAR FAILURE OF CORPORATE GOVERNANCE BY GOODWIN AND HIS FORMER CO-DIRECTORS I DON’T KNOW WHAT IS – but they are not the only “guilty” parties. Just the worst in UK…and that is before we learn the extent of RBS involvement in Libor rate-fixing.

So, if the original crimes weren’t enough to justify the “Public Inquiry” that Cameron and Osborne were so keen on, when they were in opposition in 2008(!), perhaps this latest scandal will change things. But I won’t hold my breath!

The fact of the matter is that, such an inquiry would have to ask far too many awkward questions implicating far too many influential firms and figures within, not only, banking but in Politics, FSA and “big four” Accountants.

So, in the meantime, it is a case of Business as Usual with banks and bankers believing themselves to be “above the law”! Content to treat customers, depositors, shareholders and Regulators with utter contempt.

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e-petition:: join the call for a Judge-led inquiry into banking

Fed up listening to all the media talk around symptoms with fines to swell Govt. coffers whilst we carry all the burden? Sign this petition calling for a judge-led inquiry into fraud, ethics and wrongdoing in British banks and the role of the British Bankers’ Association:

We the undersigned call for an independent, judicial public enquiry into fraud, wrongdoing and ethics of British banks, their management and their staff, and the role of the British Bankers Association. The terms of reference of this inquiry should also include the manipulation of interest rates on about £225 trillion of assets. The inquiry must have full powers to compel witnesses to appear on oath, and to obtain all forms of evidence.

Institutional abuses:: “cut the crap” – from edifice to artifice

So what if, Barclays and others* have been caught screwing the system…AGAIN!

*”Other big names believed to be under investigation include Citigroup, JP Morgan, Deutsche Bank, HSBC and Royal Bank of Scotland”

Cue outcry, righteous indignation, questions in the House and sound bites from every direction. This passes as information but isn’t it just a smokescreen!? Never mind “white collar” crime this is YET ANOTHER case of bare-faced THEFT. £290m is a helluva lot of money to you and me but it will not amount to the collective remunerations to Directors of Barclays (or any other bank) over the last 10 years!!!

What happened to Corporate Governance? Too big to fail was just code for “way too close and too complex to prosecute” without being recognised as accomplices and suffering the, unthinkable but inevitable, loss of office…the jails are too overcrowded anyway!

What is “the system” that they have been abusing?

According to Wikipedia “The phrase in this usage can carry negative connotations”. Damn right it does…PLEASE think about the question. What is it? Why is it? Who pays for it? How can it be changed? But don’t just think about “it” in terms of the banking or financial system, because the culture has contaminated and corrupted Institutions that were once pillars for all that was good in our society.

American capitalism is predatory, and American politics are corrupt: The same thing is true in England and the same in France; but in all these three countries the dominating fact is that whatever the people get ready to change the government, they can change it

Upton Sinclair (1918)