It’s a feature of bullies that they pick upon the weak and harmless and avoid the toughs in the playground.
So we shouldn’t be surprised that the FSA left RBS alone while hunting down IFAs for procedural offences.
The big concern about the FSA and its relationship with the City is that the natural job progression of the FSA is into the compliance departments of the City banks. The term “career risk” directly refers to the problems those in the FSA would have had speaking out against one of their largest potential employers. Meanwhile, giving a “tin pot IFA” a good bashing seems a thoroughly worthwhile thing to do.
I’ve no particular axe to grind here. I’ve always found the Regulators I’ve worked under responsible, intelligent and responsive but then I’ve worked in the kind of quasi institutional IFAs that like to call them EBCs who have the resources and culture to understand the FSA dictats.
The seeming irony is that the FSA in this morning’s report seem to be picking on themselves. This isn’t so odd when you realise that we are three years on to the end of their failed regulation of RBS and a good ten years from the start of the period of aggrandisement by Fred and his mates.
Those who are criticised are now most likely ensconced in cosey jobs within banks – many no doubt in RBS itself. The process of time is not just as a healer but as a means of diluting the relevance of the criticism. I note that in America, not only are the punishments dished out to failed institutions personal but they are timely too. Fred is still able to operate in the City and , if rumours are to be believed, is looking to return to the fray, clearly a little diminished by his £350k pension.
The Private Eye City Slickers column has dug away at the institutional cronyism at work in the City and the boardrooms of the companies they work for. Thank goodness we have an independent press and the social media to deliver personal views like these to point to these systemic abuses.
The cosiest club in Britain is no longer in Pall Mall but in Canary Wharf and you only need to check the nameplates of the companies that occupy its principal offices to understand just what I’m talking about