Paul Mason is right to be angry with RBS

In Blog by Ian Fraser0 Comments

November 12th, 2014

This is brilliant off-the-cuff reporting by Paul Mason, economics editor of Channel 4 News. It’s all very well for the Royal Bank of Scotland’s chief executive Ross McEwan to claim to be angry that some of his bank’s traders rigged the FX markets in order to rip off the bank’s clients and counterparties. But I think we, the taxpayers who bailed it out, ought to be even angrier. It is, after all, astonishing to most casual observers that, five years on from the banking crisis of 2007-09, behaviour including skulduggery, fraud and theft prevails more or less unchecked in the banking sector, that no lessons have been learnt from the sector’s existential crisis and that, despite the extraordinary crime wave that persists at RBS and other banks, nobody ever goes to jail. RBS and its regulators now have to get their act together, properly clean up their behaviour (which is of course still fuelled by deeply-flawed incentives), and stop turning a blind eye to fraud and criminal behaviour by bank executives, managers and staff.

Its a credit to Paul Mason’s producers, editors and colleagues at Channel 4 News that they allowed the clip to be broadcast.

By the way, I suspect one of the reasons Paul is so angry in the above clip is the pathetic-ness of RBS’s security staff, who must have been refusing broadcasters like Channel 4 News the right to film outside the door of its head office building at 280 Bishopsgate today – even though Bishopsgate and its pavements must surely be a public thoroughfare.

And, at 8:56am on Thursday morning, Paul tweeted this:-

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