Ah! September! Don’t you just love the smell of manure in the morning? As the not so good and not so great politicians and bankers return from their summer sojourns it’s no surprise that banks and politics once again dominate the headlines.
The Independent Commission on Banking (ICB) will report its findings this month; bankers are opposed to reform, the Business Secretary wants to separate the different functions of the banks and ring fence retail risk and it seems the PM and Chancellor are content to delay reform. The hints of postponement to recommendations being taken up are sometime after the 2015 General Election. The report may create conflict for the Retail Distribution Review (RDR) which had the Treasury Select Committee (TSC) announcing its inquiry into the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) before any takeover as part of the current FSA remit at the end of 2012 (or maybe later?).
Is it walking in it, or spreading muck, for an ex Chancellor, who once defended RBS bankers’ bonuses, now releasing a memoir, at a time when figures show the economy continues to struggle with economic growth entitled ‘Back from the Brink’. Containing derision for senior bankers at the 82% British taxpayer owned banks as being ‘arrogant and stupid’. These same directors are paid in shares of the bank that employs them, shares that have lost a quarter of their value this year, shares which rose when news came out that there might be a delay in reforms. Who was it who said “where there’s muck there’s brass”?
Mudslinging at men has a scientific basis in `Masters of Nothing’ with a subtext of `The Crash and how it will happen again unless we understand human nature‘. The authors, Matthew Hancock and Nadhim Zahawi conclude…. `the dominance by men does not exist because of the inherently masculine nature of finance. Rather, the masculine nature of finance exists because of its dominance by men’. What’s that phrase coming from some of you? …Does a bear **** in the woods?
Whilst some argue about banking reform and others about testosterone imbalance being the challenge, there could be mileage for debate rather than muckraking at the Bank of England’s recent considerations. Cheques being phased out had a U-turn, even though the cheque guarantee card had been abolished but plastic might be returning to your purses and wallets as The Bank of England is considering plastic fivers and a £50 note.
(Image and Article credit: Copyright SUF )