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Our corrupt bankers laugh at our stupidity as we pay their fines

You’ll probably have read that five banks are paying over £2bn in fines for rigging foreign exchange markets. You may even have seen regulators blethering on about ‘getting tough’ with banks – “The FCA does not tolerate conduct which imperils market integrity or the wider UK financial system” and Osborne “Today we take tough action to clean up corruption by a few so that we have a financial system that works for everyone.”

And, of course, bank bosses have been crying huge crocodile tears as they pretend to be sorry for encouraging fraud which has made them unimaginably rich – “To say that I’m angry would be an understatement” claimed the head of one of the worst offending banks.

In the latest series of fines, HSBC will be paying £236m, Barclays £500m and RBS (which is 80% owned by British taxpayers) £400m.

bank fines forex

British banks have also had to put aside over £10bn to compensate for PPI (Payment Protection Insurance) mis-selling:

Banks-PPI-provisions

Banks in the UK, US and Europe have now paid tens of billions in fines and compensation.

bank fines to US regulators

But who pays these extraordinary penalties? The individual bankers who committed fraud on a massive scale? Nope. The bank bosses? Nope. The fines get paid by the banks’ shareholders who get less in dividends and see the value of their shares fall as the billions in fines and compensation are cut from the banks’ profits.

And who are the banks’ main shareholders? Mainly you and me. In fact anyone who has any savings in a pension fund or unit trust or has a company pension probably owns shares in a few banks. So, we’re the ones being punished. Not the bankers.

Talking of punishment, how many of these corrupt bankers have been prosecuted for fraud? Yup, you guessed right – none.

So, please don’t believe the mainstream media’s hyperbolic lies about banks being fined and the regulators getting tough. We’re the ones being fined and the regulators are getting tough with us while letting the bankers off.

That’s why our bankers are laughing all the way to the bank.

4 comments to Our corrupt bankers laugh at our stupidity as we pay their fines

  • Keen Reader

    Yep – and every time, some further outrage is revealed, we hear from whichever government happens to be in power at the time, that tired old mantra about “lessons being learned”. From Maxwell to Asil Nadir, through endowment mortgage mis-selling, the corrupt dealings at Equitable Life – which continues to have a disastrous impact on the retirement of thousands of people – to the payment protection scandal and the recent deplorable interest rate swap insurance (where business people requesting bank loans were conned into taking out a toxic insurance allegedly protect the loan in the event of interest rate rises) the bankers and their ilk invariably come out on top. The UK Regulators’ sole concern seems to be protecting the “Finance Industry” at the expense of the rest of us. Until the UK follows the example of the States and takes swift proceedings in a criminal court against the individuals responsible for every scheme which dupes a trusting public, the rip-offs will continue. Fines, which in fact as you rightly say are paid ultimately by anyone who has savings or investments, are meaningless and have no deterrent effect. Seeing a few bankers banged up – and I MEAN banged up, not enjoying the extended holiday of a low security prison, which is the current perk of being a “white collar” criminal – just might have an impact. In the meantime, caveat emptor. Keep away from banks and bankers and all their dubious doings.

  • MGJ

    The only country I can think of which has acted with any sort of integrity is Iceland.

    They prosecuted their own prime minister and put senior bankers in prison. They also ensured as far as possible that the people who made stupid investment decisions bore some pain rather than bailing them out and punishing the rest of us.

    Contrast this with the UK. If you were a banker, would you see any reason at all to modify your behaviour (other than to be even more reckless with other people’s money)?

  • John Fields

    “MGJ’s” comment gives an excellent contrast. Those at the top treat us with contempt.

  • What if most of the financial fraud carried out by our financial institutions is carried out against other countries.
    Such as the looting of Russia during the Yelstin years.

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