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article imageOp-Ed: Bank rip off was not criminal, says head of financial watchdog

By Alexander Baron     Jul 1, 2012 in Crime
A suspected shoplifter got more than she bargained for at a Louiseville Walmart when she was shot by a constable. Many people here believe this is what crooked bankers deserve.
In the former case, it was the officer who ended up in the dock. Most people would consider shooting a shoplifting suspect excessive under normal circumstances. But how about shooting bankers? In view of the way this country and indeed the world has suffered at their hands in recent years, few people would consider such a sanction excessive, but the bad news is that the recent scandal which involved them ripping off businesses to the tune of billions is not even classed as a criminal offence.
That was the verdict of Adair Turner, head of the Financial Services Authority, the watchdog that is supposed to protect the great British public from these sorts of scams. Turner, or perhaps we should call him Lord Turner, was speaking on The Andrew Marr Show Sunday morning, shortly after the press, politicians and a great many others were once again calling for the head of Bob Diamond, he of Barclays Bank infamy.
Lord Turner said, apparently with some regret, that all the FSA could do at the moment was levy fines for such shabby practices as the LIBOR rate fixing scandal, which for Barclays was £290 million.
This is a scandal that won't go away though, other guests on the Marr programme had strong views on it too, and if Leader of the Opposition Ed Miliband gets his way, Diamond may yet be put up against the wall and shot. Or wish he had been.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
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