Leading article: The faintest flicker of humility from the banks


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The Independent Online

Is the penny at last starting to drop? RBS has cancelled its corporate hospitality at Wimbledon, sort of. Those with tickets may use them, but they can forget the strawberries and Pimm's. This is no money-saving exercise; rather the bank seems belatedly to have figured that pictures of executives and guests living it up would sit ill with customers left high and dry by the bank's "technical issues". Quite so.

Then yesterday one of banking's most aggressive defenders of stratospheric pay, Bob Diamond of Barclays, decided to forgo his bonus and said "Sorry" after the bank was fined £290m for misconduct. You could argue that a bonus-sacrifice, even of millions, hardly matches the severity of breaches that threatened the very integrity of the banking sector. One penny might have dropped, but there are many pounds still to go.