If you aint cheating, you aint trying

So Barclays has been hit with the biggest UK bank fine in history. Although top of the league, they join another six banks who between them have been fined some $6bn for a ‘stitch up’ of the foreign exchange markets.

Barclays FCA fine share is around £284m although that will soon be off to the Treasury for ‘good causes’ use and not reducing regulatory costs for the ‘good guys’ as it should.

A further $400m on it’s way to the Commodity Futures Trading Commission and $485m to New York’s Department of Financial Services.

At this stage I feel a pause for breath is needed………

If ever proof was needed that banks are too big to fail and a moral compass reset is needed, this is it.

Why?

Well for a start, unbelievably, Barclays shares rose 3% after the announcement, and RBS’s rose 2%, all fuelled no doubt by profuse apologies and the usual ‘blowing smoke up rear’ platitudes around putting things right with an added heavy bonus layer of remorse from Barclays boss Antony Jenkins saying “the misconduct at the core of these investigations is wholly incompatible with Barclays’ purpose and values and we deeply regret that it occurred,” .

Such ridiculous and frankly insincere phrases simply heap insult on all those very good regulated businesses run in a compliant, customer focused way.

If ever there was a time to see some serious regulatory action taken, ie ‘go to jail, do not pass go’ this is it.

And if ever there was a time to suspend firms from their casino banking activities for a period of time to enable reflection this is it.

In October 2013 we heard thatSir Hector Sants is taking a leave of absence from Barclays due to exhaustion and stress and is expected to return in the New Year”. A headline that appeared at the time to get little adviser attention

Less than a month later we heard that Sir Hector had resigned after less than a year in post.

I think we may now have a better understanding of what that stress was actually all about and why he quit?

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