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John Drake

A load of bankers

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HBOS collapse: Ex-bosses face calls for City bans
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-22027664

 

It amazes me that anyone should need to call for or enforce a ban on these individuals working in the City again. They ought to be in prison, IMO. But who in their right mind would employ them anyway? Yet remarkably (and depressingly) they have all managed to slide their way into highly paid, high profile jobs elsewhere since their collective uselessness collapsed HBOS.

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It is mind-boggling how these jerks always find another lucrative post, no matter how big a mess they have made in their previous role.

 

It's no wonder that people like me put it down to funny hand-shakes and old school tie networks. It can't be down to talent, as they clearly have none, unless "lining your own nest regardless of the cost to other people" counts as a talent.

 

Jail them!

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HBOS collapse: Ex-bosses face calls for City bans

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-22027664

 

It amazes me that anyone should need to call for or enforce a ban on these individuals working in the City again. They ought to be in prison, IMO. But who in their right mind would employ them anyway? Yet remarkably (and depressingly) they have all managed to slide their way into highly paid, high profile jobs elsewhere since their collective uselessness collapsed HBOS.

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It is mind-boggling how these jerks always find another lucrative post, no matter how big a mess they have made in their previous role.

 

It's no wonder that people like me put it down to funny hand-shakes and old school tie networks. It can't be down to talent, as they clearly have none, unless "lining your own nest regardless of the cost to other people" counts as a talent.

 

Jail them!

 

The name isn't "jerks" it is "talent".

 

We need to nurture these people and pay them well otherwise they will leave the UK and earn their crust elsewhere.

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The name isn't "jerks" it is "talent".

 

We need to nurture these people and pay them well otherwise they will leave the UK and earn their crust elsewhere.

I love irony, I do.

 

You have to be careful not to slip over into sarcasm, though. ;)

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The name isn't "jerks" it is "talent".

We need to nurture these people and pay them well otherwise they will leave the UK and earn their crust elsewhere.

Lol.....isnt it

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Why should these three be in prison?

What did they do that was illegal.

I assume we'll lock up the bosses of HMV, Jessops and a fair few RL clubs too.

They made bad decisions but in the main I assume not illegal ones.

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According to the paper today, what those responsible for HBOS did was continue trading an insolvent business - they sacked their risk adviser who informed them of this in 2004. Knowingly trading an insolvent business is illegal.

Why should these three be in prison?

What did they do that was illegal.

I assume we'll lock up the bosses of HMV, Jessops and a fair few RL clubs too.

They made bad decisions but in the main I assume not illegal ones.

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Whist not disagreeing that they should be dealt with in accordance with the law, I notice that "Insolvent Trading or trading whilst insolvent would be part of the evidence of an act of Wrongful Trading, however it is not necessarily an unlawful act. It depends upon the facts of the case."  and "The maximum penalty for fraudulent trading is 10 years imprisonment"

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According to the paper today, what those responsible for HBOS did was continue trading an insolvent business - they sacked their risk adviser who informed them of this in 2004. Knowingly trading an insolvent business is illegal.

If that is the case, then surely they would be charged?

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Isn't a big factor in this and previous recessions the attitude shown during the era of "her in the other thread"?

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Someone asked "Why should they go to jail?"

 

I have to admit that they probably haven't actually broken a law which would entail a custodial sentence. However, I am sick and tired of hearing that we have to pay huge salaries to attract the right people. The argument usually contains the phrase "recruitment and retention" and it is a load of old tosh. The same people will often quote that saying that makes my blood boil "If you pay peanuts, you get monkeys." Another load of tosh. It seems that, with HBOS, someone paid big bucks and ended up employing the monkeys. This is exactly what I have said before, "If you offer big bucks, you get greedy barstewards." Since deregulation, these people have lined their own pockets, with little or no regard for the rest of the population, by gambling with other people's money.

 

I googled "HBOS losses" and read an Independent article which contained the following gems, "a staggering lack of competence" and "punishments for the 'HBOS trio' should include class-action lawsuits for breach of fiduciary duty". The losses, which the article suggests are approximately £25 billion but could be up to £10 billion more, equate to about £500 for every man, woman and child in this country.

 

Why should they go to jail? Because, when you accept the huge salary because it reflects the responsibility of the post, you should face the consequences when you fail to live up to that responsibility. And because anything less seems inadequate.

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Someone asked "Why should they go to jail?"

 

I have to admit that they probably haven't actually broken a law which would entail a custodial sentence. However, I am sick and tired of hearing that we have to pay huge salaries to attract the right people. The argument usually contains the phrase "recruitment and retention" and it is a load of old tosh. The same people will often quote that saying that makes my blood boil "If you pay peanuts, you get monkeys." Another load of tosh. It seems that, with HBOS, someone paid big bucks and ended up employing the monkeys. This is exactly what I have said before, "If you offer big bucks, you get greedy barstewards." Since deregulation, these people have lined their own pockets, with little or no regard for the rest of the population, by gambling with other people's money.

 

I googled "HBOS losses" and read an Independent article which contained the following gems, "a staggering lack of competence" and "punishments for the 'HBOS trio' should include class-action lawsuits for breach of fiduciary duty". The losses, which the article suggests are approximately £25 billion but could be up to £10 billion more, equate to about £500 for every man, woman and child in this country.

 

Why should they go to jail? Because, when you accept the huge salary because it reflects the responsibility of the post, you should face the consequences when you fail to live up to that responsibility. And because anything less seems inadequate.

The numbers involved are obscene, because the profits that banks made were obscene. Billions and billions per year. Everyone was happy with this as we were all enjoying the benefits and the good times.

 

If they haven't done anything illegal (or punishable by prison) then they shouldn't be in prison. We can't make things up because we think they were greedy and we don't like it.

 

The systems were broken, individuals shouldn;t have had the responsibility they did.

 

I work in banking, and I am bloody angry with the way the industry has been tarnished by the way so I have no sympathy with these guys who are all millionaires, but even after searching today I have still only seen details of reckless, poor decision making rather than illegal activity.

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BTW I watched an interesting film on the subject of the banking crash the other day - Margin Call, with Kevin Spacey and Jeremy Irons - very interesting and well worth a watch.

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The numbers involved are obscene, because the profits that banks made were obscene. Billions and billions per year. Everyone was happy with this as we were all enjoying the benefits and the good times.

 

If they haven't done anything illegal (or punishable by prison) then they shouldn't be in prison. We can't make things up because we think they were greedy and we don't like it.

 

The systems were broken, individuals shouldn;t have had the responsibility they did.

 

I work in banking, and I am bloody angry with the way the industry has been tarnished by the way so I have no sympathy with these guys who are all millionaires, but even after searching today I have still only seen details of reckless, poor decision making rather than illegal activity.

 

I accept much of what you are saying, but a couple of points still stand.

 

Not everyone was happy with it. Many people, respected commentators among them, were warning of the dangerous levels that UK debt (both national and personal) had reached back in the 90s.

 

I stand by my view on levels of pay and the hypocrisy of saying that high pay reflects the level of responsibility. Absolutely, I do. When the brown stuff hits the fan, nobody accepts the responsibility for which they are paid nowadays.

 

But I do realise that my "Jail them" (actually, it's more of a "Line them up against a wall and shoot them." ) attitude is just a knee-jerk response and not really a rational one. The law must be observed. But I do hope that lessons have been learnt, though I doubt it. :(

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I accept much of what you are saying, but a couple of points still stand.

 

Not everyone was happy with it. Many people, respected commentators among them, were warning of the dangerous levels that UK debt (both national and personal) had reached back in the 90s.

 

I stand by my view on levels of pay and the hypocrisy of saying that high pay reflects the level of responsibility. Absolutely, I do. When the brown stuff hits the fan, nobody accepts the responsibility for which they are paid nowadays.

 

But I do realise that my "Jail them" (actually, it's more of a "Line them up against a wall and shoot them." ) attitude is just a knee-jerk response and not really a rational one. The law must be observed. But I do hope that lessons have been learnt, though I doubt it. :(

Ultimately people get paid the market value. These were private businesses who could pay what they decided was the right thing to do. Plenty of these people who had delivered billions of pounds worth of profits in the years leading up to the crash were given knighthoods etc.

 

I actually think that many people were under-qualified for the roles that they occupied, and probably still are. 

 

One final point, IIRC you are, like me a Man City fan Tony. Do you believe that Yaya Toure (who is getting paid more than any banker - probably) should be sent down if it turns out that he is ###### at his job?

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Ultimately people get paid the market value. These were private businesses who could pay what they decided was the right thing to do. Plenty of these people who had delivered billions of pounds worth of profits in the years leading up to the crash were given knighthoods etc.

 

I actually think that many people were under-qualified for the roles that they occupied, and probably still are. 

 

One final point, IIRC you are, like me a Man City fan Tony. Do you believe that Yaya Toure (who is getting paid more than any banker - probably) should be sent down if it turns out that he is ###### at his job?

 

I have often pondered the "worth" of professional footballers (and rock stars, come to that). The only conclusion I have come to is that I can choose whether to line Yaya Toure's pocket (or Mick Jagger's) or not. The fact I no longer watch City indicates my view on that. The fact that I would quite like to take in a Stones gig before I pop my clogs indicates that I am a bundle of contradictory emotions.

 

As for the bankers, Yaya Toure has not cost the UK taxpayer £30billion, these guys have. Your penultimate paragraph suggests that you feel that the wrong people have been appointed to these positions. That is one of my main concerns; with salaries like these on offer, you will attract the wrong sort of people. I have no qualms about paying the right salary for the job, I just think all reason has been abandoned when it comes to deciding what is the right salary. Too many 'wide boys', too little integrity.

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As for the bankers, Yaya Toure has not cost the UK taxpayer £30billion, these guys have. Your penultimate paragraph suggests that you feel that the wrong people have been appointed to these positions. That is one of my main concerns; with salaries like these on offer, you will attract the wrong sort of people. I have no qualms about paying the right salary for the job, I just think all reason has been abandoned when it comes to deciding what is the right salary. Too many 'wide boys', too little integrity.

I do agree with you about the investment banker side of things - young salesmen earning millions of pounds simply for having the gift of the gab. I don't think that is the case for people right at the top - there were some impressive people in charge, there have been a hell of a lot of people who were simply caught out and ill-prepared for what happened - structures and processes were not correct - ultimately that responsibility falls on those at the top, but I genuinely don't believe that everybody was dodgy or acting illegally. I think people get blinded by the huge sums of money they can be responsible for as they just see them as a large number on a screen or a piece of paper.

I find it absolutely mental that a 'salesman' can earn more than a Chief Exec - I suppose it has similarities to Football and maybe that arrogant attitude is copied from that industry.

 

I've worked in banking for almost 13 years now and I can honestly say that the number of people that I would say have acted inappropriately during that time is in single figures - in general there are people out there trying to do the right thing.

 

As for costing the taxpayer - banks employ hundreds of thousands of people and contribute greatly to the economy - let's be honest, that's the reason they were helped.

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There are many decent advisers in both the banking sector and the independent sector. That said, in my 26 years as an Independent Financial Adviser I have come across some appalling advice given. Truly shameful! Selling redundancy cover to the self-employed comes to mind, as well as high risk investments being 'sold' to people in their eighties. I actually won compensation for a widow whose husband was told to change to a personal pension from his generous company scheme. It took me six months to get the shortfall of £50,000 paid out, only then for a salesman at Barclays to put it all in one high risk fund, and against my advice to her. At the age of 58, this women was down £30,000 just as the downturn came about from the stock market. 

 

As far as those at the top, it was sheer greed and perhaps started when banks were allowed to arrange mortgages. 

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I do agree with you about the investment banker side of things - young salesmen earning millions of pounds simply for having the gift of the gab. I don't think that is the case for people right at the top - there were some impressive people in charge, there have been a hell of a lot of people who were simply caught out and ill-prepared for what happened - structures and processes were not correct - ultimately that responsibility falls on those at the top, but I genuinely don't believe that everybody was dodgy or acting illegally. I think people get blinded by the huge sums of money they can be responsible for as they just see them as a large number on a screen or a piece of paper.

I find it absolutely mental that a 'salesman' can earn more than a Chief Exec - I suppose it has similarities to Football and maybe that arrogant attitude is copied from that industry.

 

I've worked in banking for almost 13 years now and I can honestly say that the number of people that I would say have acted inappropriately during that time is in single figures - in general there are people out there trying to do the right thing.

 

As for costing the taxpayer - banks employ hundreds of thousands of people and contribute greatly to the economy - let's be honest, that's the reason they were helped.

 

I never intended my comments to refer to the tens of thousands of hard-working retail bank employees. I honestly thought that would have been understood. Sorry if I inadvertently gave any offence, none was intended.

 

I share the reservations of Saint Billinge about the demutualisation of the Building Societies. It blurred the traditional boundaries that people of my generation were used to. I am sure some financial expert can argue that it was a big improvement on what went before. I am sure I shall remain unconvinced by such argument.

 

Finally, it seems that there is honour among the HBOS execs. One of them has asked for his knighthood to be withdrawn. I've blasted them on here for failing to accept responsibility for the consequences of their actions, so it's only fair I offer my congratulations to James Crosby for doing so now.

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I never intended my comments to refer to the tens of thousands of hard-working retail bank employees. I honestly thought that would have been understood. Sorry if I inadvertently gave any offence, none was intended.

 

I share the reservations of Saint Billinge about the demutualisation of the Building Societies. It blurred the traditional boundaries that people of my generation were used to. I am sure some financial expert can argue that it was a big improvement on what went before. I am sure I shall remain unconvinced by such argument.

 

Finally, it seems that there is honour among the HBOS execs. One of them has asked for his knighthood to be withdrawn. I've blasted them on here for failing to accept responsibility for the consequences of their actions, so it's only fair I offer my congratulations to James Crosby for doing so now.

 

It isn't honour, it is shame.

 

If it was honour, he would have handed the undeserved gong back at the time he almost collapsed the bank he was running, not wait until his behaviour was exposed and his name blackened by the official investigation. That's a bit like admitting you're guilty but only after the jury has delivered its verdict. And he's only forgoing 30% of his £580,000 a year (a year!!) pension from HBOS so he's not exactly going to be living in hardship, unlike many of those who have been left to pay for his spectacular management failures.

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It isn't honour, it is shame.

 

If it was honour, he would have handed the undeserved gong back at the time he almost collapsed the bank he was running, not wait until his behaviour was exposed and his name blackened by the official investigation. That's a bit like admitting you're guilty but only after the jury has delivered its verdict. And he's only forgoing 30% of his £580,000 a year (a year!!) pension from HBOS so he's not exactly going to be living in hardship, unlike many of those who have been left to pay for his spectacular management failures.

 

I wondered who would be first to pick up on that aspect. I get what you say, but you could contrast his (admittedly belated) actions with those of Fred the Shred, who had to have his "honours" stripped from him and only accepted a reduced pension when parliamentary pressure reached boiling point. On the other hand, there is Stephen Hester, who voluntarily gave up a very large chunk (possibly all?) of his bonus during the last couple of years.

 

My only point is, after damning them for their actions, I should at least acknowledge their attempts to redress things.

 

(PS. I can't remember where I got the above information about these three, but it was probably a mix of wikipedia and online newspapers such as the Independent. The info does ring a bell, though.)

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Will anyone connected to the Libor scandal cop a sentence? Furthermore, no one at the top level of management at the former Financial Services Authority (FSA) will ever be held accountable over the appalling 'light touch' regulation of the banks and under the 'watchful eye' of the Labour Government. I'm sure one head guy  at the FAS is now actually working for Barclays. Out of the fire into a lucrative job!

 

Like I said on a previous thread, Ruth Kelly MP dismissed my concerns over the mountain of debt building up and 125% mortgages. This was several years before the credit crunch. Her reply of 'it's market forces at work' demonstrates how so out of touch she was. More likely, the Government of the day took a blind eye to it as it was boosting the economy, be it under false pretences.

 

As for the IFA sector, we had 100 pages of new rules given to us one January, only to see many of them changed within four months! We were drowning in rising fees and paper work. My PI cover went up from £500 annually to £5,000, from when I called it a day after 26 years of no complaints. 

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I never intended my comments to refer to the tens of thousands of hard-working retail bank employees. I honestly thought that would have been understood. Sorry if I inadvertently gave any offence, none was intended.

 

I share the reservations of Saint Billinge about the demutualisation of the Building Societies. It blurred the traditional boundaries that people of my generation were used to. I am sure some financial expert can argue that it was a big improvement on what went before. I am sure I shall remain unconvinced by such argument.

 

Finally, it seems that there is honour among the HBOS execs. One of them has asked for his knighthood to be withdrawn. I've blasted them on here for failing to accept responsibility for the consequences of their actions, so it's only fair I offer my congratulations to James Crosby for doing so now.

No offence taken at all mate - i respect your views.

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On the other side of the equation, such as the Royal Bank of Scotland is paying just 0.85% on its instant cash ISA. Of course, this is tax-free. At least the stock market is heading in the right direction. 

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