Tuesday, 11 September 2012

Where's it gone?

Is this it here? Have you looked under there? On top of that? Nope? Then I don’t know either. Do you know where the threats British banks made to relocate overseas in response to potential regulatory changes they didn’t like have gone?

They definitely used to be here, like they were very loud and clear and deliberately made part of the bank regulatory reform debate. And there were loads of them as well; HSBC (the drug barons’ bank of choice) had one, so did Barclays (Libor rigging) and Standard Chartered (Iranian sanctions? Pfff).

Yeah it is weird. Like when Barclays was subsequently forced to change its utterly irreplaceable CEO, you'd have thought that would have prompted a mass exodus overseas.

Was it the implicit government subsidy/insurance policy other countries wouldn’t be able or willing to provide that proved too big a barrier? Or was it the reality of not having UK regulators to back them up when the Americans got a hold of their nads that prompted second thoughts? Mebbe it was only ever disingenuous sabre rattling that was taken too seriously by politicians/media too used to the old approach of banks get what they want or else(!).

So yes there is the positive here of this loss signalling the terms (or at least the rhetoric) of the debate have changed, but its still a fundamental shift in policy that perhaps the next big bank bod to be questioned could explain. Oh hang on, the other thing we’ve lost (assuming we had it in the first place), is a practical memory when it comes to things like this.

No comments:

Post a Comment