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Business Comment

Ben Chu: Sants should have held out for a peerage

Outlook Never underestimate the potential for the establishment to self-satirise. Hector Sants has been knighted in the New Year's Honours List for "services to financial services". And what sterling services those were. This is the man who, in his five years as chief executive of the Financial Services Authority, signed off on the Royal Bank of Scotland's disastrous acquisition of ABN Amro.

And what a public servant. He declined an opportunity to head the new Prudential Regulation Authority and chose instead to slap wrists at Barclays for £3m a year.

Here's a question: If you can be knighted for overseeing the biggest banking crisis in 100 years, what kind of financial devastation does one need to inflict to get a peerage?