Comment: A valiant attempt to stop another disaster
Friday 25 July 1997
Wednesday's approval of the Stock Exchange's order driven trading system due to start in October has been described as more important than Big Bang. Even so the success of automated trading is arguably less important to the credibility of London as a financial centre than the ability of the City to ensure its financial institutions are competently and prudently managed.
The perceived high cost of London's outdated system of market makers may deter investors but it is nothing like as damaging as the regular drip of financial disasters over the past two years. If the City is a world leader, Barings, Jardine Fleming, Deutsche Morgan Grenfell and most recently NatWest Markets have made it look a pretty shambolic one at times.
The SIB's consultative document on the role and responsibilities of senior executives is therefore an important document which Sir Andrew should be commended on for fudging only slightly.
One of its two main proposals - that companies should draw up a statement of management structure and systems - is a valiant attempt to plug the gaps through which responsibility has so often been allowed to fall. A properly constructed statement should in theory put an end to the buck passing that ensures it's always someone else's fault.
Its other main leg, draft guidance on the conduct of firms, their accountability and the responsibility of the individuals it employs is also admirably well-intentioned. But its deliberately general tone, which ensures it covers most eventualities, runs the risk of being so vague as, in the end, to mean nothing very much at all.
The most worrying shortcoming of SIB's proposals is their refusal to face up to the central issue. When another Barings collapse happens, will the authorities have the regulatory structures in place, and the will, to bring those at the very top of the failed firm to book?
- 1 Five-year-old Iris Grace is raising awareness of autism through her extraordinary paintings
- 2 Expert urges cat lovers to own just one animal each
- 3 Sainsbury's '50p challenge' poster telling staff to encourage customers to spend more placed in shop window instead of staff room
- 4 Yes, the iPhone 6 is a miracle, but it's Apple's tax affairs that deserve a double take
- 5 Car tax disc changes: Two days to go - and they affect you much more than just not displaying a piece of paper
Isis, we are told, is a 'clear and dangerous threat to our way of life'. I’m sorry, but I just don’t buy it
Exclusive: 'Putin's Russia has been my biggest regret,' says Nato's outgoing Secretary General
The Osborne Ultimatum: Chancellor’s benefits freeze bombshell will affect ten million households
There’s no excuse for Dave Lee Travis’s behaviour, but we need to keep a sense of proportion
Should gay sex be illegal? 16% of Britons think so
Mark Reckless becomes second Tory MP to defect to Ukip in a month
- < Previous
- Next >
iJobs Money & Business
£18000 - £23000 per annum + Commission: SThree: Real Staffing are currently lo...
NEGOTIABLE: Austen Lloyd: TRUST ACCOUNTANT - KENTIf you are a Chartered Accou...
£18000 - £20000 per annum + OTE £30000: SThree: SThree are a global FTSE 250 b...
Highly Competitive Salary: Austen Lloyd: CITY - Law Costs Draftsperson - NICHE...