Bank Apology & Government To Blame?

December 15, 2008

John Varley, head of Barclays Bank responding to the economic slump has said that banks should apologise and show some humility for their role in the downturn and also pointed the finger at the role of ‘governments’ without specifically mentioning the Labour Government. He said:

‘I think if you look at the players who were involved in what’s happened to the world, I think there are quite a lot of players. They would include central banks, they would include governments — but they would certainly include the banks.’

Gordon Brown blames everyone except himself and will never apologise for his role in the recession – he’s simply too smug and too proud. But at least the head of one bank is belatedly recognising that his industry has to shoulder some of the blame for the mess the country’s finances are in which is a welcome first step.

This morning David Cameron has raised the issue of accountability of those who are at fault. He said:

Doctors who behave irresponsibly get struck off. Bankers who behave irresponsibly should face professional consequences. And, for sure, if anyone is found to have behaved criminally they must be prosecuted…Are the government seriously saying that nothing untoward could have happened over here? How can anyone believe that in the worst financial crisis of our lifetime no proper and thorough investigation needs to happen?…If we’re going to build a strong and fair society, individuals must carry the consequences of their own actions – regardless of who they are, where they come from, and what their background is.’

The Government won’t carry out an investigation into the financial turmoil as is being demanded. If it did, there would be several criticisms of Government economic policy of the last 12 years; and when Gordon Brown believes he is saving the world, criticism at home would be the last thing he would need.