01/07/2012 - Banking Crisis = Banking Scandal!

“THE CURRENT SCANDAL involving Barclays Bank brings into sharp focus the whole of the banking system.” 

That was the view of Graham Williamson – a leading member of the Solidarity Trade Union – whilst talking about current events in the banking sector.

As most Trade Unionists will be aware, Barclays Bank has just been fined £290m for manipulating bank lending rates.  At least 20 other banks are also under investigation.  These include the HSBC, the Royal Bank of Scotland and Lloyds.

According to a report in the i newspaper (of 29/06/2012) it’s understood that they may also face “the prospect of criminal investigations, enormous fines and civil lawsuits over the developing scandal of rigging interest rates.”

This is the just the latest scandal to hit the banks within recent days.

For a computer glitch has also hit thousands of customers of the Royal Bank of Scotland - and two of its subsidiaries, Nat West and the Ulster Bank.  This crisis is so severe that the RBS doesn’t know when its computers will be up and running again.  Indeed, it can’t even say how many accounts are affected.

Still on the subject of banks and banking, Mr.Williamson noted:

“As an active trade unionist, I’m naturally opposed to ‘casino capitalism’ – and especially the way ordinary working people are having to pay for the mistakes and greed of those bankers, ‘fat cats’ and speculators who brought on the current economic crisis.

Like many trade unionists, I’ve a gut feeling that something’s really wrong with the whole banking system.  For instance, why do we seem to have endless economic cycles of ‘boom’ and ‘bust’?

I personally feel that we need a fairer banking system. The banks should be run as a service and not a money making exercise. Also they shouldn’t be allowed to charge unfair interest on loans (usury).

With the scandals involving the Royal Bank of Scotland and now Barclays Bank, I think that it’s high time that Cameron and Clegg step in and order a root-and-branch examination of the whole banking system.  This is the very least they can do”