BoE Chief Urges Banks To Learn From Olympics
The governor of the Bank of England has urged those in the scandal-hit finance sector to learn lessons from GB's Olympic heroes.
Sir Mervyn King's comments come in the wake of the Libor scandal that has seen Barclays slapped with a £290m fine for manipulating the key benchmark borrowing rate.
At least 15 institutions, including Royal Bank of Scotland, are also being investigated over the controversy.
Writing in the Mail On Sunday, Sir Mervyn said: "For many years, our financial sector sustained the illusion that it was possible to become a millionaire overnight by buying and selling pieces of paper.
"But we have seen how paper fortunes in financial markets can disappear overnight. Things need to change."
He added: "As recent scandals have shown, banks could learn a thing or two about fair play from the Olympic movement."
Sir Mervyn said the British economy could learn a number of key lessons from the Games.
"First, and most important, we have been reminded that an objective that is worth attaining, like a gold medal, requires years of hard work. Success does not come overnight," he said.
"That is as true of our economy as it is of sport. It means reforming our banking system so that banks focus less on making money in the short term, and more on building businesses to serve their customers' interests over the longer term."
The Bank of England boss also said bankers should focus less on money and more on their customers.
He added: "The financial sector has done us all a disservice in promoting the belief that massive financial compensation is necessary to motivate individuals."
It comes as Prime Minister David Cameron said the "massive self-confidence boost" given to the UK by the Olympics could drag Britain out of economic trouble.
Shock GDP figures released days before the Games began showed a worse-than-expected 0.7% decline between April and June - putting the UK in the longest double-dip recession since World War Two.
There was more bad news as the trade deficit widened to a record level and the Bank of England predicted flat output for 2012.
Mr Cameron said the success of the Games showed the UK could "turn things around".
He told BBC News: "It is an enormous confidence-booster about who we are as a country, what we can do, what we stand for, and the fact that we can make our way in a very tough and competitive world.
"We do face a very tough economic situation and I do not belittle that at all. It is a very tough economic world that we are in.
"But in a way what these Games show is that if you work hard enough at something, if you plan something, if you are passionate enough about something, you can turn things around."