Saturday, 8 November 2008

HBOS, RBS bankers were Britain's most prudent?

Now let me make sure I've got this right. HBOS and RBS, the two worst-run and most imprudent banks in the country, have cost the country billions to bail them out. Lloyds TSB, Barclays and HSBC are wounded but not fatally injured like the two Scots banks. Consequently, a deal is being put to HBOS shareholders for a takeover by Lloyds TSB that will provide the troubled Edinburgh firm with stability and offers a real prospect, in time, of getting HBOS back into the black.

This is being opposed by two bankers, Peter Burt and George Matthewson, who, erm, used to run RBS and HBOS and who now say they're best placed to run HBOS.

I rather think Burt and Matthewson have done quite enough damage already to let them have another go at bankrupting the British banking system; in fact, the pair of them ought to be under criminal investigation, as their counterparts in the US are, for their reckless and negligent incompetence. Is there no mechanism for freezing these men's assets whilst we determine what degree of culpability they bear for the mess we're in? Apart from the misuse of terrorism legislation, it seems not.

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

"Is there no mechanism for freezing these men's assets..."

Well as a matter of fact, there is.

It's called the Proceeds of Crime Act, or something like that.

But it is a gross infringement of all natural justice and strikes at the heart of the principle of presumption of innocence.

Blair ought to be disgraced and vilified for such an affront to our constitution, and you, sir, should think carefully before indulging in such Daily Mail kneejerks.

Principles are everything. Whatever you think they may have done, and whatever your views on it, they have not been duly convicted by a court of law.

Raedwald said...

There's a world of difference between freezing their assets whilst criminal charges are being investigated, and seizing them without due process.

Or would you rather have criminals, fraudsters, drug barons, corrupt office holders and the rest able to vanish away their ill-gotten gains whilst the process of law takes its course?

Nick Drew said...

anon - Jeff Skilling, formerly CEO of Enron, is currently serving a sentence of 24 years, 4 months and paid a fine of $ 45 million.

If you look at his crimes (under US law, of course) you could think that some of those nearer to home might have at least a moral charge to answer, if not UK criminal charges.

Failing that, maybe "a period of silence on their part would be welcome", to use the famous phrase

None of which exonerates Brown, Darling and the craven FSA - who (as CU says) are still flailing

crackers said...

Fred Goodwin developed acute hubris after his contested battle with Peter Burt of Bank of Scotland for NatWest. RBS did very well for shareholders by cutting costs and getting Nat West running again.
Burt who made the initial running for Nat West left BoS vulnerable and so were taken over by Halifax. In my view the miscreant is Hornby. All senior execs racing for profits and exercise of options on ramped share price. Goodwin became a financial Col Kurtz will delusions of grandeur to make Edinburgh the financial captial of the world.
In a few years the pair of them trashed Scotland's reputation for prudential financial management. It would be pleasing to see Goodwin locked up and his assets handed to pensioners who trusted his bullshit.

Anonymous said...

"Or would you rather have criminals, fraudsters, drug barons, corrupt office holders and the rest able to vanish away their ill-gotten gains whilst the process of law takes its course?"

You would strike down every law in England to get at the devil, I take it?

Google the quote if you don't recognise it.

In your excellent later post re Remembrance Day you say "...our freedom and our precious realm are prizes that cost an agony of suffering to win and hold".

Presumption of innocence is part of that. We discard it - or stand by while others do so - at our peril.

Expedience is no justification.

Anonymous said...

I cannot believe the gall of NatWest - have you seen their MoneySense advert? The irony of it. I have linked to my blog post below.

Anonymous said...

Sorry, put previous comment in wrong I think;
I cannot believe the gall of NatWest - have you seen their MoneySense advert? The irony of it. I have linked to my blog post below.
http://www.mobilemaster.co.uk/Clientsites/Joomla/blogs/Natwest-MoneySense....-honestly-.html