Home > Uncategorized > Special offer; free accommodation for bankers

Special offer; free accommodation for bankers

I’m not normally a vindictive guy, (I hope) but I take more than a little pleasure from a report in this morning’s press. It claims that the Serious Fraud Office is taking a keen interest in bankers who are accused of rigging the London inter-bank overnight  rate, and that it believes that they could be prosecuted under existing UK legislation. Several unnamed institutions are under investigation, and it’s a good bet that these include Barclays, the bank over whom the storm broke, and RBS. If the SFO taks it all the way, some of the people involved in the scheme/scam could be looking at a few years as guests of the Mountbatten-Windsor hotel group.

If it takes such draconian action to restore morality to the banking industry as a whole then so be it, for it is surely lacking. I heard a radio ad the other day, for Nationwide, in which it promises to keep customers informed of changes in the variable interest rates on their savings, and trumpets this as a virtue. Excuse me? That should be a legal requirement, and in very large letters. A couple of years ago, my wife opened an internet savings account with Barclays. The interest rate was reasonable, but only for the first year. There was a clause hidden away in the small print that she didn’t notice; as a result her money has been earning interest at 0.01%, a rate that goes way beyond miserly and well into the Shylock zone. This from the bank that has just allowed its chief operating officer, the man at the heart of the Libor scandal, to walk away with a pay-off of £8.75m. (Hopefully he has left a contact address with the SFO.)

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