CBI Boss: Barclays Scandal 'Deplorable'
The president of the CBI today waded into the crisis at Barclays, calling the manipulation of a key interest rate "deplorable" and warning that it damaged confidence in the City of London.
Speaking to me, Sir Roger Carr said that those implicated in the LIBOR-fixing scandal should be punished and the failure of risk controls at the bank urgently resolved in order to restore faith in one of the UK's most important industries.
The intervention of the head of Britain's most important business lobbying group comes after David Cameron, the prime minister, continued to insist that the board of Barclays had "serious questions to answer over the affair, which saw Barclays fined £290m by UK and US regulators.
Sir Roger told me:
"The manipulation of the LIBOR arrangements is deplorable and undermines international trust in the integrity of the City. This weakness must be addressed and the culprits punished. We should be mindful, however, of the importance of banking to the UK economy and that throwing out the baby with the bathwater is in no-one's interest provided the baby is clean."
Sir Roger's comments underline the broader concerns in Britain's business community about the latest in a string of scandals to hit the banking industry.
This afternoon, the Local Authority Pension Fund Forum, an influential investor group, added its voice to those calling for Barclays executives to be hit by financial penalties.
"The Forum is calling for the claw-back of bonuses to 2005 when the interest rate manipulation first started. LAPFF also urges the company to pursue criminal charges against staff and executives at the bank. Chairman Ian Greenwood stated: 'The use of tactics to manipulate interest rates to create a favourable trading environment and pad the company's profits is inexcusable. This renews LAPFF's call for serious governance and cultural reform within the UK banking industry.'"
Earlier today, I revealed that leading Barclays shareholders are drawing up a list of heavyweight names to lead an independent inquiry that they say is necessary to restore City confidence in the bank.
what do you think?
At last - two influential parties suggesting that the persons responsible for managing banking affairs should pay for misbehaviour like this rate fixing. Just fining "a company or Bank" will do nothing to change a bad culture, it needs to get personal. If we are being told that high exceutives need huge salaries, perks and super pensions for the almost impossiblly difficult jobs they do - then where does the proverbial "buck" stop??
Mikel. We may yet find that this scandal gets personal in that international firms & traders will do their business through Frankfurt instead. We have heard so much bellyaching from the City about how the proposed EU transaction tax would harm them, not half as much as the deceit and dishonesty on show here.
Get over yourself! It's just another excuss to "kick the Banks" . The only thing that is damaging London's financial reputation is everybody keeps on B* * * hing about it. Give it a rest, nobody has been harmed by this really!!