Tuesday 7 December 2010

Sir George Matthewson sees no Monkey

Credit to the Scottish Herald for following up in the abysmal FSA investigation into the conduct of RBS executives in 2008. Sadly, they find the then Chairman in a strange mood. Firstly, he bemoans his personal losses in subscribing to the RBS rights issue. Then he says the FSA is quite right to keep its investigation secret.

A fact which helps his third point, that no one was found to be corrupt and the board was not guilty of a failure of Governance. The truth is RBS fought tooth and nail with Barclays for ABN AMRO and paid a premium that was beyond belief. Certainly, beyond what Barclays (who for all their problems at least have never put their hand out to taxpayers) would even consider paying. The board stood by and watched Sir Fred Goodwin and his ego get hold of this. It is a massive failure of Governance.

As the FSA waved it through it does not surprise me at all that subsequently they give this the green light, in secret of course. When will there be a real independent investigation of these crooks and those at the FSA who connived with them. It is not just RBS, HBOS and Northern Wreck executives and their regulators all have a case to answer, one which frankly it is not in the interest of the FSA to expose.

At the moment the collective FSA and City gentry are engaged in Monkey Business:


Nick Drew said...

at the risk of sounding like a broken record, Someone Must Go To Gaol, for a good long stretch

(and not just Madoff)

it's the only thing that will bring a bit of discipline into the next cycle

otherwise it's just a one-way bet

hatfield girl said...

Just this once, for this occasion only, I wouldn't object to capital punishment.

Budgie said...

Hey, ND, it's nice to agree with you.

But just as Major refused to sack Lamont over the ERM fiasco (because Major would then have had to go too, as an ERM junky), so no one will go to jail from RBS, HBoS or NR - because it will expose Brown, Balls and co, as well as the FSA and BoE.

It is a real state we are in: this is corruption at the very top, and it seems the electorate is powerless in the face of it.

Anonymous said...

CN I wonder with all this "I see no wrong" how many were in cross directorships eg Northern Wreck and RBS, until some sort of order is established, the government writing clear rules and and laws the whole thing with the banks will happen again, governments listening to common sense and not listening to what the bankers say they want (for their own ends). Banking law should be common through out the world (mind you the EC cannot get co-ordination from 25 or so countries or have they not even tried)

CityUnslicker said...

Budgie - I think you are correct on this, the world is too cosy for exposure. Perhaps the FSA should be called FIFA?

Anon - yup no one plans to wee on anothers parade, they all have pension pots to protect.

hatfield girl said...

'it seems the electorate is powerless in the face of it.'

We did vote them out of office, B, if not completely out of power.

Sackerson said...

@Nick: I'm getting to the stage of thinking that instead of talking about what SHOULD happen, we should simply work out a way to profit from what WILL happen - as our horrid exemplars do.

James Higham said...

No banker is ever culpable, CUS - you know that.

measured said...

Yes, but, like the FSA investigation, you fail to say what the RBS executives did wrong. It is not a crime to pay too high a premium, just plain stupid and appalling risk assessment. If you accuse them of being crooks, they are entitled to know the Charges.

I think it is just straightforward incompetence and a failure to undertake their jobs in a responsible manner. I find it unbelievable that the FSA still regards itself in too high a light to consider that releasing the Report would lower our opinion of those involved. Our opinion of everyone concerned is and should be very low indeed, as you quite rightly highlight.