Calls today came for the resignation of Bob Diamond the boss of Barclays Bank after the bank has been found to have adjusted the inter-bank lending rate – known as the The Libor rate (the average interest rate that leading banks in London charge when lending to other banks) to it’s own favour.
David Cameron says Barclays has “serious questions to answer” over Libor fixing and George Osborne describes the scandal as a “shocking indictment” of the banks amid calls for the bank’s chief executive Bob Diamond to resign.
George Osborne on Thursday threatened tougher sanctions for banks after Barclays was hit with a record fine for trying to manipulate a benchmark interest rate. Shares in Barclays fell more than 15 per cent at one stage, with Royal Bank of Scotland, Lloyds Banking Group and HSBC also down sharply.
Ed Miliband the labour leader has called for a criminal investigation to take place into the Barclays Bank rate fixing but it appears Barclays are not the only high profile bank that may be affected as many other high street banks may be guilty of irregular practice – including Lloyds Bank and HSBC
The FSA have said they are unable to take legal action against Barclays due their lack of power in dealing with this sort of action in terms of mortgage lending interest powers when they were formulated.
The coalition is already reforming the regulatory regime and dismantling the regulator, the Financial Services Authority.
Mr Osbourne dubbing the period from 2005 to 2007 “the age of irresponsibility”, he attacked the previous Labour government saying it was “literally clueless” when Barclays was manipulating Libor.
The Chancellor from the last Labour Government should be hailed as the man who saved the UK Banking system from financial collapse. Alistair Darling (MP for Edinburgh South West). He should be known for the fact that he was he who was solely responsible for actually avoiding a complete UK financial and banking meltdown.Even the telegraph has described him as a person who would be best suited as forerunner for the position of leader of the Labour Party in the past
It was he who took the decision to save the Royal Bank of Scotland, Halifax (HBOS), and Northern Rock and doing so also prevented virtually every other major bank in the UK from closing. At the time he is famously known as the bad guy who predicted that the world economy had reached the lowest point in a “60 year financial period” and said it may take decades – as his prediction is now proving – to recover.
In an interview in The Guardian published 30 August 2008, Alistair Darling warned, “The economic times we are facing… are arguably the worst they’ve been in 60 years. And I think it’s going to be more profound and long-lasting than people thought.” His warning led to confusion within the LabourGovernment who were oblivious to the problem – Darling, insisting it was his duty to be “straight” with people
Unlike US Government who took the decision not to help the major investment institution Lehman Brothers deal with their mounting toxic assets thus causing greater economic disaster worldwide – Alistair Darling avoided the UK going into a worse scenario in the UK – he took the decision without requiring legislation (as the US would require) to save Britain’s major banks.
Below is an address he made to the London School of Economics which describes the actions he needed to take whilst in his position as chancellor when in 2008 the emerging European (including UK and Ireland) institutions started to feel the effects of the US financial market collapse.
In the last twelve months the Royal Bank of Scotland has invested $80million in companies that make cluster bombs.
98% of all cluster bomb victims are civilians, and a third of those are children. Last year the UK joined over 100 countries in outlawing their use and manufacture. Yet more than a year on from the ban, the publically owned RBS continues to fund companies that manufacture these abhorrent weapons.
While RBS is not alone in this irresponsible investment, it is the worst offender. Help us end the suffering cluster bombs cause. For more information read the report on stopexplosiveinvestments.org.
Source: Amnesty International