John Swinney: Build better bank system
The revelation that Barclays had, for several years, been rigging the rate at which it borrowed money and misleading the regulators about what it was doing is a financial scandal as large as those behind the collapse of 2008.
The shamelessness and greed on show from these individuals colluding over bottles of champagne is simply unacceptable.
The impact this had on people’s mortgages is something that must be uncovered as a matter of urgency.
I welcome the fines that have been imposed, but I also want to see further investigations to reveal who knew what and when, how it was possible to get away with this and which other banks were involved.
If you work in financial services you must be responsible and accountable. I firmly believe that Bob Diamond, as the man responsible for Barclays’ actions, should resign.
I have sympathy with those calling for criminal prosecution. It is disappointing that, according to the regulators, the Financial Services Act put in place by Gordon Brown does not allow people to be prosecuted for this crime. The reform going through Westminster right now must change this.
The public must have complete confidence in the banking sector. Never again should our financial sector be run on champagne and greed instead of the enduring strength of customer service.
If we are to learn the lessons of the boom years then the banking collapse of 2008 and scandals like this one at Barclays must become an opportunity to build a better banking system.
• John Swinney MSP is Cabinet Secretary for Finance, Employment and Sustainable Growth
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