UK to raise bar at scandal banks
BRITAIN will adopt a raft of proposals aimed at raising standards at scandal-tainted banks, including the threat of prison for reckless bosses and greater scope to claw back bonuses and pensions.
Chancellor George Osborne said yesterday he would implement the main proposals set out by a committee last month, which also include new registers to better monitor bankers' behaviour.
In addition, he said he would set an objective for the main bank regulator to promote competition – even though the Bank of England said last week that goal was covered by other authorities and it was important not to complicate regulation.
"Cultural reform in the banking sector marks the next step in the government's plan to move the whole sector from rescue to recovery and ensure that UK banks demonstrate the highest standards, and are able to support business and drive economic growth," Mr Osborne said. Many Britons blame bankers' risk-taking for the 2008 financial crisis and subsequent economic slump, and their anger was further fuelled by bumper pension pots for failed executives, fines from regulators for most of the top banks, and a mis-selling scandal on insurance products.
Britain's Parliamentary Commission on Banking Standards (PCBS) was set up last year after Barclays was fined for rigging interest rate benchmarks.