David Prosser: Careless talk costs lives, or banks at least

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The Independent Online

Outlook The Financial Services Authority has now set out the results of an investigation into market rumours – those nasty, and often untrue, little bits of gossip that have destabilised our leading banks this year. The watchdog has spent much of the past six months asking a wide range of City companies for their policies on rumour-spreading. But fear not: businesses from stockbrokers to hedge funds say they have strict rules in place on such naughtiness. And while the FSA has uncovered a few instances of gossiping that might have caused difficulties, it stamped on them quickly and has warned the rumour-mongers about being naive.

Meanwhile, no one has been brought to book over the malicious rumours that nearly brought HBOS to its knees earlier this year. Indeed, that investigation was buried months ago. Maybe, the FSA should stop taking the City's policies at face value and come down a little harder on cases of naiveté.

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