In fact, we need them. Not just to store our money, lend us cash and keep businesses afloat.
We need them because they employ thousands of people and generate profits for shareholders who, in turn, pay the pensions of many private-sector workers.
Let’s not forget, either, that the average bank worker is not on a multi-million pound bonus, doesn’t fiddle the figures and can’t escape with the loot when things go wrong.
The average bank worker is as much of a victim of the crooks, charlatans and shysters in the international banking casino as the rest of us.
The other day, a
Wolverhampton businessman told me the secret of his
success: “I can honestly say our bank put the lights on in our business. We
couldn’t have done it without them.”
Unfortunately, the men who try to fix the odds when they play billion-pound roulette with other people’s money work for the same company as the average girl on the till in the High Street.
So they all get tarred with the same brush. Some tar, some brush.
Barclays may have lost and regained its chairman, City toff
When we threw billions at Royal Bank of
and Lloyd’s, the very least the Government should have done is disqualify the
members of their boards from ever serving as company directors again. Scotland
It’s illegal to trade insolvently and, on the face of it, that’s exactly what they were doing.
A small trader who does so is routinely banned from being a director, often bankrupted and frequently prosecuted. Not a banker.
Apparently this is because, no matter how bad their debts, they weren’t insolvent for one simple reason – the taxpayer would always bail them out.
There is, therefore, no personal responsibility. No risk. Just the potential for massive rewards.
The banking system needs radical reform. But it’s not about regulation and rules. That’s just shutting the stable door after the golden horse has bolted.
Only when the top people can be humiliated, stripped of their assets and sent to jail will we have a properly regulated banking system.
A well-padded early retirement is no penalty at all. If there were real threats, if these gamblers could lose their money and their liberty, they might exercise a bit of caution.
Dozens of inquiries are now under way but we all know why the men in braces behave so wildly. They have nothing to lose and millions to gain.
They have no fear. Take away the safety net. Watch them fall.