The Wrong Trousers!!!

The Wrong TrousersI think I must be getting cynical in my old age, but correct me if I am wrong here. John Hourican, the head of the Royal Bank of Scotland investment banking arm is stepping down from his post, despite having no managerial control over the people who rigged the LIBOR rate and who are costing RBS over £400 million in fines. Rather weird.

It seems that Mr Hourican, who earned £3.5m last year, is expected to lose his bonus for 2012 along with his position as head of RBS’s investment bank. He is also expected to forego £4m of bonuses from previous years. Are these guys for real?

It is true that there are on going criminal investigations into the whole LIBOR fiasco, and that the people who potentially cost every borrower in the UK money through their actions may yet be brought to book, it seems that John Hourican gets the role of scapegoat extraordinaire.

Whilst it is a little difficult to feel too sorry for a chap who is quite so well heeled, the principle behind the dismissal should not be forgotten. In my view, the people who defrauded the nation, nay the world, with their skulduggery should be held to account. Maybe the bosses of these people, maybe even the senior management who allowed the practices to go on, through their naivety or negligence, but not just some chap who happened to be passing at the time.

The current view of the banking business is that it is a corrupt world of murky practices, run by a bunch of money grabbing, socially bankrupt pseudo-criminals. Of course that view is skewed by the never-ending stream of stories about malpractice and fraudulent dealing that have gone on right under the noses of the FSA and other banking watchdogs, but judging by the evidence, it is not too far of the mark.

It is clear that there needs to be a firestorm of dismissals at the highest levels in the entire banking sector. The current sticking plaster approach will not get us back to the days when the bank manager was a revered member of the local community, or when your money was safer in the bank than under the mattress. But starting with some overpaid shmuck, with little or no connection to the problems will do no good whatsoever.

What is really needed, is a return to social values where honesty, integrity, trustworthiness and honour are held in higher esteem than the salary package or the annual bonus. While we measure people by what they earn and own, rather than the principles they hold, we will remain on this downward spiral into social turmoil.

They’ve sacked the wrong trousers Gommit, and we must not let them get away with it!!!

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