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The banks that stayed afloat with billions in government bailout money are laughing, well, all the way to the bank. And Britain’s top financial services regulator says that’s got to change.
“There remains, I believe, an absence of the acceptance of collective responsibility for what has happened,” Hector Sants of the Financial Services Authority opines today. “I personally remain unconvinced that all senior management have taken on board the need to change and operate in a genuinely different manner.”
Well, why would they? Governments on both sides of the Atlantic have handed out the billions with nary a string attached. And they’ve continued to do so even as banks continue to behave badly.
Sants is simply trying to keep his agency from being broken up, as the party likely to be running the U.K. next year has demanded. And maybe the City and Wall Street would be wise to throw the saviors in London and Washington a bone, rather than take taxpayer money to fund bonuses. But Sants and his ilk have to make the banks mend their ways. They’re not likely to do it themselves, when the status quo + bailout bucks is proving so profitable.
Sants says banks failed to learn lessons [FT]