Another Libor Scandal

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Another Libor Scandal

Another Libor Scandal

Another week and another Libor scandal, as details of other banks that were potentially involved in rate fixing are revealed.

This time, it's the usually squeaky clean Lloyds bank that's at the heart of the accusations.

This is not something that we didn't already know. We can expect the story to run and run as more fines are handed out.

The headlines will remain full of the bad banking practices and poor judgement of a select few as the vote winning bash-a-banker theme continues.

There's no question that the rules need to be tightened and the actions taken by some to line their pockets were completely wrong.

However, there comes a point when the chastisement is enough, and we are in danger of driving these major employers and huge tax contributors away from the UK.

The last few years has seen banks have to increase their capital buffers, adopt more regulations and suffer seriously negative public perception. At the same time, politicians have been screaming at them to lend more to businesses and individuals in a climate that is hardly conducive to investment.

Some of these banks, if not all of them, will have already been weighing up their options. With the modern world of global finance so interlinked, it wouldn't take too much for an HSBC or a Barclays to move away.

There are plenty of places that would welcome them with open arms; Shanghai, Dubai or New York to name just a few. Whilst many people might say good riddance to them, we have to remember that our services based economy is heavily reliant on finance.

Banking certainly needs a good clean up, but our major industries ought to be encouraged rather than continually berated.

By Simon Denham - 16 July 2012

Libor Scandal - Part 2 - RBS

Update - 6 February 2013

Royal Bank of Scotland is in focus today after announcing that its Libor settlement with UK and US regulators currently stands at a not insignificant £390 million.

Nevertheless, this is towards the low end of expectations and it makes little sense for regulators to impose a hefty fine on a company that is 80% owned by the British taxpayer.

The initial stock market response has been positive, with the RBS share price rising at the open.

This slap on the wrist marks the end of yet another scandal for the bank, although of course it's not the only one to receive such a fine.

What is interesting to note is that there are fewer calls for the resignation of the CEO than there were for the ex-Barclays chief Bob Diamond, whose head rolled shortly after they announced their fine.

Perhaps Stephen Hester, who's been a prominent figure in the press dealing with the banks problems, is seen as a more acceptable face of banking than Bob Diamond, who was depicted as a pure bonus-driven investment banker.

Either way, the hope is that this is the final chapter of banking scandals, although we've hoped that before and can't discount the possibility of another revelation around the corner.

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By Simon Denham, 16 July 2012

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