David Prosser: No justice in handing Fred the Shred to the lynch mob
Friday 03 December 2010
Outlook They were mad, not bad. That is how one might summarise the view taken by the Financial Services Authority in deciding not to take any further action against Sir Fred Goodwin and his fellow directors at Royal Bank of Scotland, despite the way they ran their bank aground.
No surprise that the FSA's announcement yesterday sparked howls of protest. It may now be two years since public anger saw vandals attack Sir Fred's Edinburgh home, but the banking crisis has not been forgotten, let alone forgiven. How could it be with most of the country now facing up to the hardship of repaying the debts run up during the crisis while bankers prepare for another bumper pay round?
Still, the regulator has made the right decision. It has spent 17 months searching for grounds to bring legal action against Sir Fred and his former colleagues. If none were found, then action could not be taken, public outrage notwithstanding.
The FSA has accepted its share of the blame for the financial crisis. But though it clearly failed to supervise many of our leading banks, it was not responsible for the legislation governing malfeasance. It is unfair to attack the regulator now for the fact there is no case to bring under this legislation.
However, one aspect of the FSA's decision is peculiar. Though the regulator made it clear yesterday that future applications from any of the major players in the RBS collapse for positions of influence in the City would be viewed pretty dimly, it has stopped short of outright bans. Why has it not sought the same sort of deal for Sir Fred as it agreed with Johnny Cameron, RBS's former investment banking chief, who has promised never to take another full-time role in financial services?
It is also disappointing that the FSA feels unable to publish the report it compiled during its investigation of RBS. Those who are angry about the actions of RBS are not entitled to sacrificial lambs, but they do deserve a full account of why the regulator has reached the decision it has.
Missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370: Wreckage could be found within a week as search reaches 'very critical juncture', says minister
Loch Ness Monster found on Apple Maps?
Royal Tour 2014: Is the Duchess of Cambridge the only person ever to climb into a fighter jet wearing a dress and high heels?
Kim Jong-un, crowds and contraband: Inside North Korea with the Pyongyang marathon winner
Cover up! Mother told to show less cleavage during Disneyland family trip: 'Are we supposed to wear turtlenecks our whole lives?'
The food poverty scandal that shames Britain: Nearly 1m people rely on handouts to eat – and benefit reforms may be to blame
Scottish independence: It is the English who should be on their knees, begging the Scots to vote ‘No’
Nigel Farage fatigue? Half of voters ‘immune’ to Ukip’s appeal
'Sinful': Video of British Muslims dancing to Pharrell Williams's hit Happy comes under attack
Nigel Farage: I’m taking on the status quo, and the Establishment’s fighting back
Refugee facing deportation from Sweden saved by fellow passengers refusing to let plane leave
- 1 'Natural' energy drink banned for containing erectile dysfunction drug
- 2 A bottle of wine a day is not bad for you and abstaining is worse than drinking, scientist claims
- 3 Dylan Tombides: West Ham confirm 20-year-old striker has died after battle with cancer
- 4 Loch Ness Monster found on Apple Maps?
- 5 Angus Steakhouse: How does tourist staple continue to thrive in today's gourmet market?
iJobs Money & Business
£150.00 per week: QA Apprenticeships: This company has been providing on site ...
£221.25 per week: QA Apprenticeships: This company is a well established Inter...
£40000 - £50000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Client Relationship Manager - SQL...
£35000 - £50000 per annum: Pro-Recruitment Group: Take your chance to join the...