British banking fat cats
WELL, we got an apology. Sort of.
Sun Newspaper opinionGordon Brown and Alistair Darling must be appalled by such reckless acts in their own political backyard.
The four jokers who destroyed Britain’s once-proud banking industry fell over each other to say sorry... for other people’s mistakes.
Fred “The Shred” Goodwin, of RBS, “could not be more sorry”. HBOS’s Andy Hornby felt “profound and unreserved” regret. There were crocodile tears all round.
They even sobbed over the personal fortunes they’ve lost buying shares in their own doomed banks. Poor saps.
But none of it was their fault, of course. The crash was impossible to predict. There were “no siren voices”.
That’s how it stood until Tory MP Andrew Tyrie shot them down in flames.
HBOS was warned early on by its own “risk manager”, Paul Moore, that the bank was dangerously over-stretched, under-resourced and expanding too fast.
Mr Moore was backed by the City’s watchdog, the Financial Services Authority.
Instead of listening to this highly qualified whistleblower, the bank sacked him, gagged him — and replaced him with an unqualified successor.
And why not? After all, NONE of the four bank chiefs quizzed by MPs have any banking qualifications whatsoever!
Nor, they confessed, did they have a clue about the toxic American debt now burning a hole in taxpayers’ pockets.
They also ignored clear warnings, squandered £10bn on a dud Dutch bank — and landed us with the bill.
Complacency oozed from these sharp-suited ex-Masters of the Universe.
Gordon Brown and Alistair Darling must be appalled by such reckless acts in their own political backyard.
They will surely ask why warnings from the HBOS whistleblower were ignored? And who was so stupid as to sack him?
The answer, worryingly for us all, is ex-HBOS chief Sir James Crosby.
Today, Sir James is deputy head of the FSA — the body that supported Paul Moore.
He also happens to be one of the PM’s key credit crunch advisers.
Is that why Mr Brown seems so reluctant to ban all further bonus payments to those banks supported by taxpayers?
The Prime Minister expresses anger at these bonuses with one breath — and fear of legal action with the next.
He should tell these greedy bankers to sue and be damned.
Because, with millions now facing years of hard times in the worst recession for a century, he’ll be damned if he doesn’t.