Sir: As a worker in the City of London for over 40 years, I find your reference to Barings' renowned prowess and skills in the Far East extremely worrying. The City's financial institutions happily promote the belief in the superiority of London as the world's centre of excellence and expertise. The same proud belief was held in the British shipbuilding industry only 30 years ago: that, also, was a myth. In recent years, we have had many financial scandals involving banks, investment dealers, Lloyd's insurance, overselling of pensions and insider dealing.
It is not possible to legislate against greed; but it is possible to regulate and control the worst excesses of professionals in the City, in order to protect the individuals and organisations who provide the funds with which the "experts" are so happy to gamble. However, it is patently clear that any form of self-regulation is quite useless. Even government-appointed regulators fail, as in the case of the privatised monopoly industries. A legal commission, with the advice of practical working insiders, is the only way forward.
P. A. MOREY
Tunbridge Wells, Kent