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Lloyds and Santander appointments: A cultural banking revolution

Robert Peston | 11:19 UK time, Wednesday, 3 November 2010

So a super-suave, brainy, Portuguese alumnus of Citibank and Goldman becomes chief executive of Lloyds, the biggest retail bank in Britain.

And a woman (and no, I haven't taken leave of my senses) takes the helm of arguably the second most important retail bank in this country, Santander UK.

Now that's what I call a cultural revolution in the male dominated, staid world of British banking.

Antonio Horta-Osorio, who is 46 and has run all of Santander's UK operations since 2006, will replace Eric Daniels as Lloyds' boss on March 1 next year.

Ana Patricia Botin

 

And Ana Patricia Botin, daughter of Santander's chairman, Emilio Botin, is to become the new head of Santander UK.

She's widely regarded as a formidable banker. But some will doubtless note that the glass ceiling for female bankers in the UK could only be shattered by the offspring of one of the world's most powerful banking dynasties.

As for the new boss of Lloyds, his track record doesn't look too shabby.

He has been at Santander for 18 years and was on a path to become chief executive of that highly reputed Spanish-based international retail bank in three years.

In his time there, he has created substantial banking operations for Santander in Brazil and Portugal. Acquiring retail banks and integrating them is his forte (he has done that seven times).

In 2006, Horta-Osorio inherited control of a UK bank that used to be called Abbey National (bought by Santander in November 2004), and he subsequently took over the savings and deposits business of Bradford & Bingley and the whole of Alliance & Leicester.

Santander says that even stripping out the impact of the acquisitions, he has achieved double-digit revenue and profits growth during each year of his tenure. And - which can't be said of many banks, and certainly can't be said by Lloyds - there has been unbroken profits growth in every three month period of his time at the helm.

But why on earth is he leaving one of the world's most successful banks, where he was the heir apparent, to run a bank that in the last couple of years has generated mind-boggling losses.

And why would he want to stay in the UK, where the word "banks" and "banker" are almost terms of abuse?

Antonio Horta-Osorio

 

Well he told me that he and his wife have come to love the UK. He likes the diversity and openness of the UK and regards it as the best place to educate his children.

And, before you ask, that love of this country hasn't been generated by an enormous bag of cash that Lloyds wants to foist on him.

That said, he will be well paid by Lloyds, with a package comparable to that of Stephen Hester, chief executive of Royal Bank of Scotland - so worth many millions of pounds over several years.

But although he will receive some compensation from Lloyds for the Santander share plans he's surrendering, Lloyds insists that he will be losing money on the deal, that his overall remuneration will fall.

What are the potentially big prizes for Lloyds from the recruitment?

Well there are two.

First there's the obvious one, that as and when Lloyds has cut out or cured its stinking loans and investments, he'll finish off the integration of HBOS (bought so controversially by Lloyds in the autumn of 2008) in a way that makes Lloyds as efficient as Santander.

In the UK, Santander's ratio of costs to income is 38%, more than 5 percentage points lower than Lloyds on an underlying basis; and each 1% reduction in Lloyds costs relative to income would generate an additional £250m of profit (or so).

Second, he's probably the best advocate that Lloyds could have at the Banking Commission set up by George Osborne. Or at least that's what Win Bischoff, Lloyds' dapper German chairman, tells me.

The Commission is examining whether Lloyds, with its 30% share of UK current accounts, 24% of mortgages and 23% of small banking services, should be broken up.

What Mr Horta-Osorio will argue, from first hand experience, is that Lloyds' sheer size did not prevent Santander winning significant amounts of new business in the UK - that Lloyds was unable to stifle competition or squish a new competitor in the shape of Santander, which these days is a major player, with more than 10% of the British retail banking market.

Which is relevant evidence for the Commission.

However the Commission will be aware that Lloyds' ability to exploit its substantial market shares to batter rivals may have been constrained by the need for management to first remedy all those poisonous loans that came with HBOS.

And if Mr Horto-Osorio turns out to be as effective a banker as his history suggests he may be, then Lloyds' market power may turn out to be very dangerous indeed for its competitors - and, the Commission may fear, rather better for Lloyds' shareholders than for consumers, as and when the bank is rehabilitated.

UPDATE 1408: Hmmm. Mr Horta-Osorio may be making a financial sacrifice by joining Lloyds, but he's most definitely not doing charity work.

He'll be receiving a base salary of £1.035m base salary, £610,000 in lieu of pension contribution, up to £2.3m in bonus, and a maximum of £4.6m in long term incentives, payable in three years.

So if he hits targets, he could earn up to £8.5m for his performance in his first year.

Oh, and he will receive unspecified compensation for the loss of cash, shares and pension benefits at Santander.

All of which begs the question, since he is making a financial sacrifice to join Lloyds, what on earth was he earning at Santander?

Comments

Page 1 of 2

  • Comment number 1.

    > the UK, where the word "banks" and "banker" are almost terms of abuse?

    What do you mean, "almost"?

  • Comment number 2.

    "Well he told me that he and his wife have come to love the UK. He likes the diversity and openness of the UK and regards it as the best place to educate his children."

    Classic - so they admire our publicly funded schools then? - well what a shame they're all about to be hammered in order to protect the finance industry.

    "And if Mr Horto-Osorio turns out to be as effective a banker as his history suggests he may be, then Lloyds' market power may turn out to be very dangerous indeed for its competitors - and, the Commission may fear, rather better for Lloyds' shareholders than for consumers, as and when the bank is rehabilitated."

    So the commission has let on that consumers will be screwed by this new monoply - thanks for that you overpaid bunch of nitwits - are you a QUANGO in disguise?

    Capitalism does not care about sex - don't think that because they've put a woman in charge that there will be any different outcome for consumers or taxpayers.

  • Comment number 3.

    1:

    JC, I think because they are not commonly used at random people in the street (yet). For example, the expletive I heard shouter at a bike courier by a cab driver was similar, but had a different starting letter...

  • Comment number 4.

    Banks need reforming. Banking is a licence to print money. It doesn't matter what member of the global elite has the keys to the ivory tower.

    Didn't Santander invest £8 billion in Madoff?

  • Comment number 5.

    "Acquiring retail banks and integrating them is his forte (he has done that seven times)."
    So much for the desire to reduce the banks' size and influence. Still, at least it's only retail banks, not commercial ones...

  • Comment number 6.

    Well, well, well…
    I don't care whose running these mega-banks: Antonio Horta-Osorio, Ana Patricia Botin, Eric Daniels, or some other person, though I do believe there is something significant in the movement(s).
    Santander was (is) pressing to list part of its UK business on the London Stock Exchange. i.e. Santander Group is preparing to float up to 20% of Santander UK (incl. Abbey, Alliance & Leicester and Bradford & Bingley). This is supposed to happen in 2011.
    So dig this: The listing is planned to generate @ £4bn. This @ £4bn would then be used to fund Santander’s purchase of 318 UK branches from Royal Bank of Scotland (as well as boost internal capital). Whoa, is banking ever getting monopolized!
    I expect the listing will be well supported by UK investors.
    Why?
    Consolidations in finance industry means there is a very limited financial stock to choose from, right?
    The Santander UK (not Spain) generated £875m of profit (first half of the year):
    - a £200M mortgage,
    - £150m of retail deposits, and
    - a significant share of the small business market and a private banking.
    Warning: next year, the UK economy will get tough. There are already signs of slippage in the property market. Also, there's that dang Committee, that probe into the banking industry, the one that will decide whether this financial monopolization should continue, or should the mega banks be split - retail vs investment.
    What the timing of the UK floatation means:
    Likely prep for the initial sale of the government’s stakes in Lloyds Banking Group and Royal Bank of Scotland?
    This will hit the market like a glut.
    Well, there you have it.
    "Have what?" you ask.
    My rationale for splitting retail and investment banks before the property problem manifests because monopolized banking tends to get "too big to fail".

  • Comment number 7.

    "And Ana Patricia Botin, daughter of Santander's chairman, Emilio Botin, is to become the new head of Santander UK."
    Jobs for the boys and girls these days. Keeping it within the family. The rich continue to get get richer, and the masses get poorer as a result.

  • Comment number 8.

    "However the Commission will be aware that Lloyds' ability to exploit its substantial market shares to batter rivals may have been constrained by the need for management to first remedy all those poisonous loans that came with HBOS."

    And those market shares are there because competition rules were waived to allow the takeover deal.....

    Not that it was a government coerced deal of course

  • Comment number 9.

    I hope the new CE of Lloyds does not bring with him the poor customer care practices currently on offer at Santander. Whenever I visit, there is always someone being denied access to THEIR funds, myself included. If I want a cheque for £400, it means just that. To be told I can only have one for £1000 is absolutely outrageous! Or I can go and get cash out (£300) one day and £100 the next, bank it and then write out another cheque. I am currently winding up my association with Santander, and will be watching developments at Lloyds with the greatest of interest. I may be voting with my feet at this new appointment.

  • Comment number 10.

    Oh, silly me, it was only £2 billion in Madoff.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2008/dec/21/madoff-santander-shares

    "Botín succeeded his father as chairman in 1986 and ... observers were predicting that his daughter, the formidable Ana Patricia, would follow him. But her husband, Guillermo Morenes, ran M&B Capital Advisers, the Swiss bank that marketed the Madoff funds."

    Why do we buy into the sycophantic use of terms like "formidable"? Time we stopped bowing and scraping.

  • Comment number 11.

    2. At 12:13pm on 03 Nov 2010, writingsonthewall wrote:

    "...and regards it as the best place to educate his children."

    "Classic - so they admire our publicly funded schools then? - well what a shame they're all about to be hammered in order to protect the finance industry."

    I wouldn't read too much into this, WOTW. What are the chances that the CEO of the major bank is going to educate his children at the inner school comprehensive? I assume, of course, that judging by his age, his children will be in that age group.

    Let's not forget that the previous government has poured unprecedented funds and resources into education and what have we to show for it? What - better grades from dumbed down exams? Money is not everything - better discipline, instilling sense of pride into learning and greater parental responsibility is what need more than ever.

  • Comment number 12.

    Ok, I'm going to try to get in early before all the banker bashing begins (although I've already missed the boat looking at the very first post). Here's a few home truths:

    If you believe the banks caused the recession, you're wrong.
    If you think the banks offer a public service, you're wrong.
    If you harbour some deep resentment towards all bankers for their 'obscene bonuses', you shouldn't.

    This is what happened:

    Banks are profit maximising entities working within a regulatory framework. The framework, determined by government, was (and still is) flawed. A very small number of bankers exploited this in the investment arms of the big banks. They did this by trading bad debt, which was in itself available because the public were spending beyond their means.

    If you want to apportion blame for the recession, and lordy knows what good that does you anyway, you can attribute it in this order:

    1. The government, for not regulating an industry designed to maximise shareholder return sufficiently
    2. The public, for living beyond their means, and finally,
    3. The banks, for not having internal controls that frankly would go against their charters anyway.

    Phew. Glad that's off my chest.

    And just to help you all who love blaming the bankers rather than taking responsiblity for yourselves to have a go at me: yes, I do work for a bank. I get a pretty standard professional salary, live a pretty standard middle class life, and am raising a young family who I love. I'm not the devil, and in the past couple of years I've gone from being respected to being vilified by a fickle and misinformed public in the blink of an eye and I'm sick to death of it.

    As to the actual topic, well if this is a cultural revolution in banking then bring it on. I'm not a fan of boys club banking anyway, and neither are the HUGE majority of bankers - us ordinary folk just trying to live our lives as best we can.

  • Comment number 13.

    And still it goes on:
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-london-11676955
    Honestly, don't these strikers realise that they have to get people to work to earn money to spend on pap and dig us out of the recession? Lets hope there aren't any commercial bankers stuck in a tube station - they've got a job to do...
    "Transport for London (TfL) said more than 40% of Tube services were running - exceeding their expectations."
    Trebles all round!

  • Comment number 14.

    @6. At 12:37pm on 03 Nov 2010, BluesBerry wrote:
    "I don't care whose running these mega-banks: ...Eric Daniels..."
    Given banking practices it should be Paul Daniels. "You'll like this. Not a lot..."

  • Comment number 15.

    Robert,

    1. I don't see how the gender of Santander UKs Chief executive makes a difference, let alone heralds a "cultural revolution".
    2. The idea that these people are part of a dynasty is a cause for complete consternation. Isn't banking incestuous enough as it is?
    3. Horta-Osorio is an aquisition specialist. More power, fewer hands, less competition, more job losses. More unaccountable power mongering.
    Do we need this?
    4. His "remuneration will fall". So his astronomical pay will be slightly less astronomical. What a kind man! - I'm overwhelmed with feelings of gratitude for this personal sacrifice on his part.
    5. Costs income ratio is 38:100. Does this mean this bank makes a 72% Profit? Thats other peoples money this bank is taking. Don't they bleed customers dry enough as it is?
    6. Surely the fact that he was at Santander and Lloyds couldn't control Santander suggest that it IS EVEN MORE LIKELY that Lloyds will move into an even more dominant position with Horta-Osorio at the helm? Either that or were facing more collusion (see 2.)
    7. Isn't his position compromised by supposedly "competing" against his own relations?

    How does this benefit the country and how do banks really benefit the country? I just don't get it.

  • Comment number 16.

    " ......he'll finish off the integration of HBOS (bought so controversially by Lloyds in the autumn of 2008) in a way that makes Lloyds as efficient as Santander."I detect sarcasm Robert.

    Does this mean HBOS will charge me more or less than £110 for going £7.64 overdrawn for twenty days like they did recently. Yep, it was my fault. Yep, I expected a charge but £110, come on that's theft surely.

  • Comment number 17.

    He sounds like the right man for the job, but his success at Santander UK will not necessarily transfer to Lloyds-HSBC. He will for a start have to muddle through the hotch-potch mess resulting of the rushed merger, but if we get a good price for it all teh better for UK PLC.

  • Comment number 18.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 19.

    So is this just a bit of forward planning so that if the UK Govt starts to get too heavy with threats of extra banking type taxes then Lloyds can just seamlessly transfer its HQ to Spain or Portugal?

    And - I find it difficult to believe there wasn't a Brit capable of running this bank.

  • Comment number 20.

    16. At 1:12pm on 03 Nov 2010, NorthSeaHalibut wrote:
    come on that's theft surely.


    Correct. What are you going to do about it? Lock yourself into civil law litigation?

  • Comment number 21.

    "And a woman (and no, I haven't taken leave of my senses) takes the helm of arguably the second most important retail bank in this country, Santander UK."

    when you say a woman, even without the right contacts, in the UK gets a top job i will choke on my coffee. That isn't a pop at Ana Patricia Botin, i know nothing of her, its a pop at British industry and commerce.

  • Comment number 22.

    It's good to know that he likes the diversity of the UK though I would reckon the bits he sees or visits will be the nice ones. Incidentally is the collective name for a group of bankers a Wunch.

  • Comment number 23.

    > 16
    "Does this mean HBOS will charge me more or less than £110 for going £7.64 overdrawn for twenty days like they did recently. Yep, it was my fault. Yep, I expected a charge but £110, come on that's theft surely."

    I'm not sure about overdraft charges, but the end of free banking is a done deal if Governments go ahead with costly banking reforms.

  • Comment number 24.

    A women is a cultural change is it?

    Let's see if women start appearing in the top jobs and we rapidly see a male:female ratio comparable with the general population, shall we? There should be plenty of vaccancies for women if all those failing bankers are giving the P45s they deserve, after all

    Or maybe she is the token.....

  • Comment number 25.

    > 19. At 1:26pm on 03 Nov 2010, Wee-Scamp wrote:
    "So is this just a bit of forward planning so that if the UK Govt starts to get too heavy with threats of extra banking type taxes then Lloyds can just seamlessly transfer its HQ to Spain or Portugal? "

    Corporate relocations are on teh move, but I'm not sure Spain or Portugal are likely options.


    "And - I find it difficult to believe there wasn't a Brit capable of running this bank. "

    They have more sense - they are more likely to know just how bad a mess it is in, and the obstacles they will encount trying to sort it out (union trouvles included). They are also unlikely to have been attracted by the renumeration package.


  • Comment number 26.

    12. At 1:00pm on 03 Nov 2010, John Smith wrote:
    Ok, I'm going to try to get in early before all the banker bashing begins (although I've already missed the boat looking at the very first post). Here's a few home truths:

    If you believe the banks caused the recession, you're wrong.
    If you think the banks offer a public service, you're wrong.
    If you harbour some deep resentment towards all bankers for their 'obscene bonuses', you shouldn't.

    This is what happened:

    Banks are profit maximising entities working within a regulatory framework. The framework, determined by government, was (and still is) flawed. A very small number of bankers exploited this in the investment arms of the big banks. They did this by trading bad debt, which was in itself available because the public were spending beyond their means.

    If you want to apportion blame for the recession, and lordy knows what good that does you anyway, you can attribute it in this order:

    1. The government, for not regulating an industry designed to maximise shareholder return sufficiently
    2. The public, for living beyond their means, and finally,
    3. The banks, for not having internal controls that frankly would go against their charters anyway.

    Phew. Glad that's off my chest.

    ..........
    Oh dear John, setting yourself up there to fall from a great height. I'll take you up on the first point "If you believe the banks caused the recession, you're wrong". The banks are responsible for creating this recession and every previous one as a result of fractional reserve banking, which allows debt to grow rapidly in times of boom, and similarly causes debt to contract rapidly when defaults start happening and the boom busts. Of course we could do away with FRB, but you see the banks make vast amounts of money out of it, and why rock the boat, when you can rely on governments to bail you out every time it goes pear shaped. And in case you don’t believe FRB is to blame I leave it to an expert to comment.
    “Any intelligent novice, first introduced to the workings of the money system, must find the pyramiding of money on the fractional-reserve base incredible. A few of the nation’s foremost economists, led by Henry C Simons and Irvine Fisher, were of the same mind at the depth of the depression when they urgently advocated abolishing the system. The idea was simply to require 100 % reserves for all checking account deposits, so that all true money was government money. Instituting that system would have been little more than a bookkeeping entry, but after it was done all the evils of the fractional-reserve system would disappear. The idea was called the only fundamental creative idea to come out of the depression. But the idea passed into limbo. The best economic minds were in favour of it, but the commercial bankers could be counted on to resist to the bitter end the loss of their money machine, and the people and the legislators probably did not understand what it was all about. Little was heard of the idea in later decades except occasional, and rather inaudible, reminders by a few economists. This complacency would no doubt persist until still another series of disasters came to pass with the substantial aid and comfort of the fractional-reserve system.” P.150 (The Dying of Money Jens O Parsson 1974)

  • Comment number 27.

    #12 John Smith

    If you can't see what's wrong with #16 (NorthSeaHalibut charged £110 for going £7.64 overdrawn for twenty days), you're not going to be able to contribute anything useful to the debate at any level. Time for change. Sorry.

  • Comment number 28.

    Seems pretty obvious that the glass ceiling is not to keep the women out but the proles out. Someone should do some research to establish, if ever, a bank was run by someone who went from rags to riches.

  • Comment number 29.

    So that's the chairman and now the CEO who made the HBOS decision moved on.

    I expected to see celebrations on the blog, instead it's more moaning that shock and indeed horror, the UK's biggest retail bank:

    - Hire's someone based on skills, knowledge and ability rather than nationality

    - He's going to be paid a big wage.

    Yawn

  • Comment number 30.

    12. John Smith wrote:
    If you believe the banks caused the recession, you're wrong.
    If you think the banks offer a public service, you're wrong.
    If you harbour some deep resentment towards all bankers for their 'obscene bonuses', you shouldn't.

    The fact that banks owe more to their shareholders than the general public is the problem. Banks' actions lead to Social problems. There will always be a loophole allowing regulation to be breached. This is akin to Jim Carey in "The Mask" shouting "Somebody stop me!".
    Bankers are people and the belief that "we were only doing it for the shareholders" is moral escapism.

    Banks need to offer a public service as it appears the public has no option but to use them. If banks crash, society breaks down. With power comes responsibility. Your argument seems to suggest that the major players at banks operate in a moral vacuum. Its convenient to think that the profit motive is a justification for catastrophe.

    I think your witty post makes the valid point (amongst others) that the majority of bank employees are unduly villified - but vast payoffs in the light of what has happened are hard to take. These payoffs appear to be funded originally by the general public in the form of huge profits. Its the scale of the profits that are the problem and UK consumers' experiences of any retail bank demonstrates perfectly where those profits are coming from.

  • Comment number 31.

    Not cynical just sceptical.

    Could it possibly be that Britain is now seen as either a soft touch or a safe haven for foreign banks and bankers.

    When those Spanish banks have to start writing down all those empty and unfinished properties in Spain I too would want to be well out of the way.

  • Comment number 32.

    > 12. At 1:00pm on 03 Nov 2010, John Smith wrote:

    Not only did the Government not regulate effectively, it was the former Labour Chancellor that removed part of the regulatory powers concerning liquidity requirements in order to attract business from the US.

  • Comment number 33.

    About time LBG brought in someone from somewhere other than a bankrupt financial institution! Since the takeover,the majority of directors and senior managers appointed have been from either HBoS or RBS. Both of whom were saved by that well known Scottish PM.
    Hopefully for the sake of the remaining Lloyds staff and shareholders he will clear out the inefficient HBoS staff and revert to the proven cost affective path Lloyds were on in the first place (and the reason they didn't need government help and had one of the best cost to income ratios in the UK).
    At the moment Lloyds staff have paid for the merger (LBG don't use the term takeover as it might upset the HBoS staff) with their jobs in far greater numbers than HBoS, but then large job losses in Halifax or Edinburgh make more headlines than London and Brighton.

  • Comment number 34.

    "She's widely regarded as a formidable banker"

    Formidable? Makes her sounds like some sort of WWF wrestler.

    I find it interesting that there seems to be a need to prefix a woman in a position of power with some sort of tagline. Gender inequality in the work place is an absolute travesty, and I genuinely am amazed how prevalent it still is - whether referring to Ana Patricia Botin to Margaret Thatcher, the amount of dialogue that persists purely on the grounds of gender when referring to women in positions of power is scandalous.
    Maybe I'm reading too much into it but I notice that Antonio Horta-Osorio and Eric Daniels don't have a flashy adjective to summarise their abilities. Perhaps 'merciless' or 'conquering' or 'greedy' would be suitable suggestions.

  • Comment number 35.

    12. John Smith:


    STOP THE PRESS! HEADLINE NEWS! BANKER DEFENDS BANKS! BLAMES RECESSION ON GOVERNMENT AND GREEDY PUBLIC! We woz framed! He insists.


    Yawn.

  • Comment number 36.

    12. At 1:00pm on 03 Nov 2010, John Smith wrote:

    > In the past couple of years I've gone from being respected to being
    > vilified by a fickle and misinformed public in the blink of an eye and I'm sick
    > to death of it.

    Well, I don’t think anyone ever “respected” bankers, apart from themselves – they were seen as a necessary evil, at best. And now they are just seen as just evil.

    And before you call the public fickle ever again, dwell on who kept your financial world afloat – the clever and well-informed public. Some further humility from you might not be amiss, in the circumstances.

  • Comment number 37.

    30. At 2:18pm on 03 Nov 2010, i wrote:

    > Banks need to offer a public service

    All business has to work well for the public, else why should we tolerate it?

  • Comment number 38.

    Formidable banker: mixed metaphor, shurely, RP.


    GC

  • Comment number 39.

    8. At 12:37pm on 03 Nov 2010, yam yzf wrote:

    "Not that it was a government coerced deal of course"

    The deal wasn't coerced - but the regulations that would have prevented it were removed by the Government.

    ...still, I suppose that's what you get if you present a clueless Government with 'Economic armageddon or this deal'.

    However Lloyds could easily have refused the deal - as yet we're not living in Stalinist Russia or Mao's China so the idea that Lloyds were forced into this deal is simply whinning from mugs who invested in something they thought they understood - but clearly didn't.

    ...it's the pension holders I feel sorry for - I mean all they did was hope for a nest egg at retirement - they weren't to know that the funds were going to stick it on black on the roulette wheel!

  • Comment number 40.

    9. At 12:43pm on 03 Nov 2010, Pippy wrote:

    "I am currently winding up my association with Santander, and will be watching developments at Lloyds with the greatest of interest. I may be voting with my feet at this new appointment."

    Good for you - but I'm afraid I think you'll find they're all the same.

    Free choice is an illusion of the free market - it's actually a 'filtered choice' and in the current situation the filter just narrowed the options down even further.

  • Comment number 41.

    Re complaining banker. We have a saying where I come from, "if you fly with the craws you get shot with the craws" In plain English guilt by association.

  • Comment number 42.

    10. At 12:49pm on 03 Nov 2010, PacketRat wrote:

    "Why do we buy into the sycophantic use of terms like "formidable"? Time we stopped bowing and scraping."

    Some people must love it - maybe it's a fetish.

    Me - I know there is no man better than I and I am better than no other man. Those who put others on pedestals say more about themselves than they do about their idols.

  • Comment number 43.

    #36; Are you seriously suggesting that the public aren't fickle?

    These are the people who pretty much swept a Government to power based on a tabloid newpsaper's suggestion.

    It's the blind leading the blind and the left wing loonies such as yourself and writingsonthewall are suddenly shouting from the rooftops a lot louder as "capitlist excess" is the current flavour of the month.

  • Comment number 44.

    12. At 1:00pm on 03 Nov 2010, John Smith wrote:
    "And just to help you all who love blaming the bankers rather than taking responsiblity for yourselves to have a go at me:"


    Taking responsibility for myself? I do actually. I've never owned a credit card, never taken out a loan, never owed money to a bank (as a saver, you'll find its the banks who owe me money), always paid my way and never lived beyond my means, and am in no financial difficulty but I still hate bankers.

    Why, because I've learned how banking works, its not hard, there are plenty of good books out there, plenty of informed economists (they'll be the ones who actually predicted the crisis, and warned against it, not the other ones, the ones who the government get their orders from) and it is immoral, unjust and works to the detriment of the majority of society in order to enrich a tiny elite.

    "I'm not the devil, and in the past couple of years I've gone from being respected to being vilified by a fickle and misinformed public in the blink of an eye and I'm sick to death of it."

    Misinformed public? I think you'll find that for the first time in decades, the public is becoming rapidly informed and looking beyond the little world of the press to do so. I keep hearing discussions on economic theory in pubs these days. Some of it quite impressive for the average guy on the street. People are waking up to the skewed rules of the banking elite.

    If you don't like the bashing, simply change jobs, (you don't have to be a banking foot solider for life you know), or get a thicker skin.

    The crisis is nearly two years old.

    You've had plenty of time to wise up and realize you're on the wrong side.



  • Comment number 45.

    12. At 1:00pm on 03 Nov 2010, John Smith wrote:

    "Ok, I'm going to try to get in early before all the banker bashing begins (although I've already missed the boat looking at the very first post). Here's a few home truths:"

    Ok - but before I start I shoudl warn you that
    a) We've heard all these poor excuses before
    b) You are about to see your faith destroyed by some simple logic and anlaysis.

    "If you believe the banks caused the recession, you're wrong.
    If you think the banks offer a public service, you're wrong.
    If you harbour some deep resentment towards all bankers for their 'obscene bonuses', you shouldn't."

    Brave words.

    "This is what happened:

    Banks are profit maximising entities working within a regulatory framework. The framework, determined by government, was (and still is) flawed. A very small number of bankers exploited this in the investment arms of the big banks. They did this by trading bad debt, which was in itself available because the public were spending beyond their means."

    The framework is flawed because the banks lobby Government to ensure that no legislation actually has much effect - as you say banks are designed to make profits and encouraging lax regulation is simply an 'investment' in their profit making - or did you naeively think that Governments weren't at the beck and call of the banks?

    "If you want to apportion blame for the recession, and lordy knows what good that does you anyway, you can attribute it in this order:

    1. The government, for not regulating an industry designed to maximise shareholder return sufficiently"

    ...but in a free market - you don't need regualation - so how can you blame the Government for providing something which shouldn't be required? Did you blame you mechanic for not fixing your radio when he did the MOT? - I suppose it was his fault you crashed the car because you were fiddling with it whilst trying to drive!

    "2. The public, for living beyond their means, and finally,"

    ...so despite 200 years of progress, we should actually all be living in grass huts and foraging for food - right?
    Who allowed the public to live beyond their means? - I mean if you don't supply the credit - how can I as an indiviudal live beyond my means?

    "3. The banks, for not having internal controls that frankly would go against their charters anyway."

    ...so you are finding banks totally exempt from blame? - crikey you are their best supporter yet! You don't see any blame apportioned to the fact they are the 'experts' in this scenario and they made amatuer decisions - and infact encouraged others to take those same amatuerish decisions.

    "Phew. Glad that's off my chest."

    yes - like when you say 3 hail Mary's and all is forgiven - except you have demonstrated nothing other than your unadulterated love for banking.

    "And just to help you all who love blaming the bankers rather than taking responsiblity for yourselves to have a go at me: yes, I do work for a bank. I get a pretty standard professional salary, live a pretty standard middle class life, and am raising a young family who I love."

    ..that's all well beyond your means fella - having children? - do you know how much they cost? - I presume you are 'debt free' because otherwise you're just a hypocrite. I hope you don't teach your children that it's acceptable.

    "I'm not the devil, and in the past couple of years I've gone from being respected to being vilified by a fickle and misinformed public in the blink of an eye and I'm sick to death of it."

    What a shame - you have actually been confronted with the truth you dare not face yourself - that your job is simply a parasitic extraction of others hard work. That's the only reason your bank exists.

    I know this from working in finance myself - luckily I woke up before I started getting offended by the name calling. I think you'll find if you think hard about it - all that profit comes from exploitation of capital - and that's not a nice industry to be supporting. Why don't you jump ship and join those of us who desire a more egalitarian life for all.

    "As to the actual topic, well if this is a cultural revolution in banking then bring it on. I'm not a fan of boys club banking anyway, and neither are the HUGE majority of bankers - us ordinary folk just trying to live our lives as best we can."

    ....there are no ordinary folk in this city - just those who try not to think very hard about where all that money comes from. You can't escape the fact however that both your wage and mine is actually as a result of someone else's hard work.

    You need to get over that - once you do you'll feel totally relieved and you will be able to look your children in the eye and know you are true to yourself - the father you always wanted to be.

  • Comment number 46.

    13. At 1:01pm on 03 Nov 2010, Stuart Wilson

    ...but Stuart - these are people who were polled by the media before the election saying "I don't mind a few public spending cuts - we need them to fix the budget deficit"

    I merely presumed they all drove to work - what a surprise - they do use public services after all!

  • Comment number 47.

    16. At 1:12pm on 03 Nov 2010, NorthSeaHalibut wrote:

    "Does this mean HBOS will charge me more or less than £110 for going £7.64 overdrawn for twenty days like they did recently. Yep, it was my fault. Yep, I expected a charge but £110, come on that's theft surely."

    I would like to thank you on behalf of taxpayers for 'helping us out' in our time of need. Your £110 will be well spent on shareholder bubbly and a nice round of golf for the execs.

  • Comment number 48.

    20. At 1:39pm on 03 Nov 2010, PacketRat wrote:

    "Correct. What are you going to do about it? Lock yourself into civil law litigation?"

    The law has already made it clear who's side it's on....

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-11532197

    You thought the law was to protect you? - oh no my friend, the law is there to protect the fascist state from you!

    I don't think the furore over bank charges could have made this any clearer - I am at a loss as to explain why everyone else hasn't worked this out for themselves!

  • Comment number 49.

    29. At 2:14pm on 03 Nov 2010, Againstthetide wrote:

    "So that's the chairman and now the CEO who made the HBOS decision moved on.

    I expected to see celebrations on the blog, instead it's more moaning that shock and indeed horror, the UK's biggest retail bank:"

    ...maybe that's because we're not so gullible to believe that by swapping the heads around will make a blind bit of difference to anything.

    You carry on celebrating - clearly you're from much simpler times..if you haven't worked this out from politics yet then I would suggest you start there.

    Many prime ministers we've had and none of them actually even began to address the problems we face today.

  • Comment number 50.

    31. At 2:21pm on 03 Nov 2010, virtualsilverlady

    Allow me to translate.

    "He likes the diversity (ease at which the proles are subdued) and openness (lack of taxation) of the UK and regards it as the best place to educate his children (in the ways of Capitalism)"

    ..as a non-dom - I suspect there won't be a lot of tax paid...all legal and above board of course. I mean the state is very accomodating for non-tax payers as parliament and the Lords are littered with them.

  • Comment number 51.

    "She's widely regarded as a formidable banker."

    Is that someone who can cause a full-on Depression rather than just another boring little Recession?

  • Comment number 52.

    32. At 2:30pm on 03 Nov 2010, Lorentz wrote:

    "Not only did the Government not regulate effectively, it was the former Labour Chancellor that removed part of the regulatory powers concerning liquidity requirements in order to attract business from the US."

    ...but it's a FREE MARKET - can't you make up your minds? Seems you want regulation when it goes wrong, but no regulation when there are profits to be made.

  • Comment number 53.

    It would be interesting to see what would happen if the leadership of banks was decided by voting.

  • Comment number 54.

    43. At 4:20pm on 03 Nov 2010, Againstthetide wrote:

    #36; Are you seriously suggesting that the public aren't fickle?

    "These are the people who pretty much swept a Government to power based on a tabloid newpsaper's suggestion."

    That's not accurate - the public did what they always do - they voted in huge numbers AGAINST the other party. The fact that there is virtually no choice at the polls has a lot to do with it.

    "It's the blind leading the blind and the left wing loonies such as yourself and writingsonthewall are suddenly shouting from the rooftops a lot louder as "capitlist excess" is the current flavour of the month."

    Better the blind lead the blind than the stupid lead the blind eh?

    I'm sure you can justify this crisis as 'excess caused by a few' - but that's the same excuse you used last time...and the time before that...and the time before that...etc.

    You need to come up with a better excuse.

  • Comment number 55.

    44. At 4:28pm on 03 Nov 2010, warwick wrote:

    "Misinformed public? I think you'll find that for the first time in decades, the public is becoming rapidly informed and looking beyond the little world of the press to do so. I keep hearing discussions on economic theory in pubs these days. Some of it quite impressive for the average guy on the street. People are waking up to the skewed rules of the banking elite."

    warwick - what you are witnessing is the awareness of class consciousness. The real 'wealth creators' realising that there is some itching on their backs and it seems to be drawing their blood.....and eventually they will realise it's time to scratch.

  • Comment number 56.

    Santander has been a disaster, it has under resourced its UK operations and if you look at any consumer forum they are right up there with the most hated companies.

    I guess thats how you get a promotion nowadays.

  • Comment number 57.

    50 writingsonthewall

    Very grateful for that clever translation. You rarely disappoint.

    By looking under the stones there is always something nasty lurking there for those curious enough to find it.

  • Comment number 58.

    53. At 4:50pm on 03 Nov 2010, i wrote:
    It would be interesting to see what would happen if the leadership of banks was decided by voting.


    Oh the Americans have been doing that at the ballot box for a while. Their elections are now known as 'the auction'

    Try and keep up with global current affairs.

  • Comment number 59.

    34. At 3:39pm on 03 Nov 2010, Turbulent_Times wrote:

    > Antonio Horta-Osorio and Eric Daniels don't have a flashy adjective
    > to summarise their abilities. Perhaps 'merciless' or 'conquering'
    > or 'greedy' would be suitable suggestions.

    Not bad. How about "short-sighted", "sociopathic" or "self-centred"?

  • Comment number 60.

    Did either warn of the impending crisis before it happened, or were they a part of the scheme to defraud the public. Banks are doing well as they continue to rob the national treasuries. Banks can be profitable by simply financing the national debts they created. Banks buying banks has no impact on the economy but does make bankers rich.

  • Comment number 61.

    ......Santander UK, jobs for the boys I see, or in this case for the girls. British jobs for British workers hey? What a stitch-up.

  • Comment number 62.

    As a Lloyds customer, I think his salary package is excellent. I have no problem with bankers earning megabucks with the provise that the banks they run provide a GOOD SERVICE to their customers.

    Thas's where it all goes wrong.

    I have a Lloyds bank accound. God alone knows why. On the rare occasion I dare to enter a branch (and this is sometimes engineered by the bank) on some p**** poor reason account review, debit card not working, meet new "manager, all I get is an overt selling attempt. Their idea of IHT planning is for me to buy insurance.

    If I get carried away and enter a discussion about actually using a bank to recommend investments and mention that I made a bit shorting their rotten institution, for the next several weeks I get their private banking arm phoning me with more inane investment opportunities.

    If Horta Osorio can restore some actual good service to customers (and that might mean getting people in their call centres to understand what customers actually need rather than just understanding the english language, along with their collegues in bank branches), he will get my vote.

    But I expect that he will be too bust maximising shareholder value by productising more, driving down costs, and investment banking

  • Comment number 63.

    Yeah my heart bleeds ,

    So if he hits targets, he could earn up to £8.5m for his performance in his first year.

    Now remind me again who is supplying that profit and at what personal cost the tax payer is providing it robert, it appears another round of QE in the US is on the way so i expect the same here.I am jumping for joy that he will be so poorly recompensed for running a business model that any semi literate primate would be able to handle whilst providing the mechanism for it through my taxes.

    I have always found it rather perplexing as to how a bank like santander with a huge amount of business in Spain a country neck deep in the mire is able to be in such supposed good shape ???? Perhaps someone with a lot more knowledge than me can supply the answer.

  • Comment number 64.

    "I am jumping for joy that he will be so poorly recompensed for running a business model that any semi literate primate would be able to handle "

    I take it you don't fancy such a job then?

    Above it are you?

  • Comment number 65.

    Oh surprise surprise - here's the reason why the new heads of banking need such large salaries...

    http://www.sharecast.com/cgi-bin/sharecast/story.cgi?story_id=3798924

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2010/nov/03/fast-rising-food-prices-inflation-fears

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/foodanddrink/foodanddrinknews/8105528/Food-prices-climbing-as-consumers-face-even-higher-supermarket-prices.html

    ...there's rampant commodity inflation on the way - this time in things we need to survive - not frivolous trinkets we can do without. If only someone had warned me.

    ..but never mind at least houses will be getting cheaper as he reality dawns on the home sellers..

    http://www.google.com/hostednews/ukpress/article/ALeqM5hdHhP129Pbu6cs96zpyX7nNZTL8Q?docId=N0134631288781565002A

    http://www.ft.com/cms/s/2/a481f91c-e741-11df-880d-00144feab49a.html

    ...and the reason for this is....

    http://www.housepricecrash.co.uk/graphs-mortgage-approvals.php

    If only someone had warned me

    ...and of course this...

    http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/5ecb3462-e6ae-11df-99b3-00144feab49a.html

    Now lets hope these goofs they just put in charge of these two banks read this blog - otherwise they will be acting all 'surprised' next year when the impairments rise again and they realise asset prices have further to fall as the funny money rushes into commodities to force the ultimate exploitation and produce profits. Meanwhile the new bankers crawl to the coalition for further bailouts - but expect it to be a little more subtle this time, oh and of course these aren't the same bankers, so it's OK.

    ...maybe it's time to take out that insurance...

    http://www.google.co.uk/finance?q=NYSE%3ADBC

    If only someone had warned us

    The writing is on the wall.

  • Comment number 66.

    WOTW

    What do you think should happen to the banks?

  • Comment number 67.

    @12 A trolling masterpiece, John. Did you post that for a bet?

  • Comment number 68.

    ...but luckily - everyone is going to take the austerity measures quietly and without a fuss. We are the 'passive Britons' after all...

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-northern-ireland-11686778

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-london-11676955

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-11632554

    http://www.thegrapevinemagazine.com/?newsid=3384

    http://www.thelondondailynews.com/nuclear-bomb-factory-workers-threaten-strike-action-p-4709.html

    http://www.peoplemanagement.co.uk/pm/articles/2010/10/bbc-journalists-to-strike-over-pensions.htm

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-tayside-central-11634975

    http://www.managementtoday.co.uk/news/1036826/royal-mail-delivers-strike-ballot-just-time-christmas/

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-11676278

    Yeah right!

    Now did I miss anyone out? Let's find out what the 'recovery crew' think about the chances of a record recovery rate with public sector spending cut and half the country out on strike - or unable to work because of other strikes?

    Those of you too young to remember, go and ask your grandad what "the winter of discontent was like" - those of you old enough to remember - maybe you could enlighten some of those on this blog who can't see the huge problems on the horizon - instead preferring to wait until they are upon us before showing a look of shock and disappointment suitable for a child finding out that Father Christmas doesn't really exists.

  • Comment number 69.

    #47. At 4:36pm on 03 Nov 2010, writingsonthewall wrote:
    "16. At 1:12pm on 03 Nov 2010, NorthSeaHalibut wrote:

    "Does this mean HBOS will charge me more or less than £110 for going £7.64 overdrawn for twenty days like they did recently. Yep, it was my fault. Yep, I expected a charge but £110, come on that's theft surely."

    I would like to thank you on behalf of taxpayers for 'helping us out' in our time of need. Your £110 will be well spent on shareholder bubbly and a nice round of golf for the execs."


    Phew, that's a relief, I thought it was going to go to waste inflating a dodgy balance sheet.

  • Comment number 70.

    ...and finally - if you want to see why the media is always getting it so wrong - watch this little video.

    Put aside your emotions about the rights and wrongs of the subject - but ask yourself - what is the point of journalism if it merely serves to show the prejudice of the interviewer at the expense of the facts of the matter.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-11686283

    I think many of you will find yourself in the awkward position of agreeing with a murderer over an ex-editor of a national paper. The world has certainly taken a bizarre twist as the state warms up to attack all of our rights - whether you have, been accused of, or never even been close to commiting a crime.

  • Comment number 71.

    Suave? Brainy? Not too shabby?

    You have a short memory for the events of 2008.

    Perhaps we should add "...but not too good at basic maths"?

    Or are we just pretending all those events didn't happen, and that we should carry on worshipping the banking "heavyweights" ?

  • Comment number 72.

    WOTW said -
    " If only someone had warned us

    The writing is on the wall. "


    Our backs are so close to the wall that we can no longer read the writing........

  • Comment number 73.

    I still believe the Bradford and Bingley shareholders were mistreated.

    And Santander received B and B's Savings business for a rather low price.

    In my opinion that is.

    It is funny that the Control of British Businesses falls increasingly to management from overseas.

  • Comment number 74.

    68. At 7:16pm on 03 Nov 2010, writingsonthewall wrote:
    Those of you too young to remember, go and ask your grandad what "the winter of discontent was like" - those of you old enough to remember - maybe you could enlighten some of those on this blog who can't see the huge problems on the horizon - instead preferring to wait until they are upon us before showing a look of shock and disappointment suitable for a child finding out that Father Christmas doesn't really exists.
    -------------------------------------------------------------------

    Steady on, you've gone a bit too far there!
    Some of the simple views that appear here must be from people you have just upset by that revelation.

  • Comment number 75.

    Just goes to show that the banking sector is operated as a meritocracy. Congratulations to them both.

    England does have the best public schools in the world so you can see the attraction, we need to reduce the tax rate though to attract such talent.

  • Comment number 76.

    No 63.

    Santander is in goood shape as it gets its profits from different sources around the world. Brazil and Chile where their economies are doing well are contributing about 25% of the profits, UK is contributing around 20% and spain portugal 20%, there are other areas where the group has profits from such as, Germany and a small well run bank in the US.

    Santander customers in the UK do not subsidise the Spain customers as it is a sperate legal entity and therefore if the economy in Spain goes into meltdown then UK customers are not affected.

    I studied this for 2 years and can understand the feeling that their service is not great but when taking ovver 3 banks ( all 3 of which were extremely close to going out of business which would have cost people a lot of money ) then there are going to be problems.

    Banks are there to supply products for people to save or buy houses or have insurance, are people not happy that when a bank has allowed them to have a mortgage or paid out a critical illness policy when their wife is diagnosed with cancer??

    There are good sides of banking which is ignored sometimes

  • Comment number 77.

    Writing selfishly as a long term Lloyds shareholder I welcome Mr Horta-Osorio's appointment. Banco Santander have rewarded shareholders handsomely over the years. Could we even see a return to Sir Brian Pittman's ethos of "Doubling shareholder value every three years"?

    But lets not get carried away too quickly or forget the currently disastrous HBOS takeover. Many hard pressed Lloyds shareholders will be glad to see the back of Mr Eric Daniels for nearly destroying their lives financially - collapsed shareholder value with no dividends. Eric Daniels and Sir Victor Blank and maybe other Lloyds directors still face the very real prospect of legal action for not declaring the £25.4bn emergency loan made to HBOS in the takeover prospectus. They might have left or be departing shortly but that doesn't mean they are off the hook! Lloyds shareholders want their money back.

  • Comment number 78.

    68. At 7:16pm on 03 Nov 2010, writingsonthewall wrote:
    ...but luckily - everyone is going to take the austerity measures quietly and without a fuss. We are the 'passive Britons' after all...
    .......................
    We should all stand together. We have been subjected to the biggest fleasing of all time, through the banking system. We should refuse to pay for the mistakes of the rich, who run the banking system. And we should reform the monetary system to prevent it ever happening again. Anyone who thinks this will be brushed under the carpet will be mistaken. "when people loose everything, they loose it" (Gerald Celente)

  • Comment number 79.

    Re Comment 33
    1. If Lloyds Banking Group sacked all the HBOS employees in Halifax the town would come to a halt - it is by far the biggest employer - and Idoubt anyone would want to buy the big office block either
    2. Insiders tell me that apart from the well known problems with commercial property lending; HBOS staff seem at least as good as the LTSB staff - their IT teams seem markedly better
    3. Much of this complaining seems overdone - I reckon my banking costs are around £100 per year (foregone interest on cash in the account and ignoring mortgage interest as I dont use credit cards, and wont pay for 'premium' bank accounts) - why does no-one look at supermarkets in the same way as banks - there are only 5 real national chains - there is same level of market concentration as in banking - and I reckon between petrol and food we spend £5,000 a year with the supermarkets - there are plenty of well paid supermarket chiefs

  • Comment number 80.

    59. At 5:36pm on 03 Nov 2010, Jacques Cartier wrote:
    34. At 3:39pm on 03 Nov 2010, Turbulent_Times wrote:
    > 'merciless' or 'conquering' or 'greedy'
    Not bad. How about "short-sighted", "sociopathic" or "self-centred"?


    Yeah, good.

    Daddy's called "Emilio Botín-Sanz de Sautuola y Garcia de los Rios". Can someone translate that into English?

  • Comment number 81.

    65. At 7:04pm on 03 Nov 2010, writingsonthewall wrote:
    Oh surprise surprise - here's the reason why the new heads of banking need such large salaries...

    http://www.sharecast.com/cgi-bin/sharecast/story.cgi?story_id=3798924

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2010/nov/03/fast-rising-food-prices-inflation-fears

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/foodanddrink/foodanddrinknews/8105528/Food-prices-climbing-as-consumers-face-even-higher-supermarket-prices.html

    ...there's rampant commodity inflation on the way - this time in things we need to survive - not frivolous trinkets we can do without. If only someone had warned me.

    ..but never mind at least houses will be getting cheaper as he reality dawns on the home sellers..

    http://www.google.com/hostednews/ukpress/article/ALeqM5hdHhP129Pbu6cs96zpyX7nNZTL8Q?docId=N0134631288781565002A

    http://www.ft.com/cms/s/2/a481f91c-e741-11df-880d-00144feab49a.html

    ...
    The writing is on the wall.


    That'll be why there is an item in today's Guardian about the Welfare Minister who wants to 'redefine' what homelessness is.

    Will a soggy carboard box home be reclassified as mere 'damp housing'?

    Bankers who are weak on arithmetic, government ministers weak on the obvious... Breathtaking.

  • Comment number 82.

    If anyone is in any doubt - please just read this.

    http://www.socialistworker.co.uk/art.php?id=22897

    75. At 8:00pm on 03 Nov 2010, Lindsay_from_Hendon

    I wouldn't bother reading it - you already made up your mind.

    ...so how is that 'optimism in the housing market' you were claiming the other day? If you're wrong about that - maybe you're wrong about other ideas you have - I'm just saying....don't let doubt creep in..

  • Comment number 83.

    76. At 8:18pm on 03 Nov 2010, Bennyboy wrote:

    "Banks are there to supply products for people to save or buy houses or have insurance, are people not happy that when a bank has allowed them to have a mortgage or paid out a critical illness policy when their wife is diagnosed with cancer?? "

    ..not really - because if you think hard enough about it you will realise they are lending you capital they never owned and which is actually owned by all of us!

  • Comment number 84.

    72. At 7:43pm on 03 Nov 2010, The-itinerant-ex-pat wrote:

    "Our backs are so close to the wall that we can no longer read the writing........"


    ..then we go through them - or die like prisoners against the wall.

  • Comment number 85.

    >26. At 2:05pm on 03 Nov 2010, Averagejoe wrote:
    A diatribe against FRB.

    Wasn't it NOT sticking to simple FRB that got the banks into their mess in the first place?

  • Comment number 86.

    66. At 7:06pm on 03 Nov 2010, i wrote:

    "WOTW

    What do you think should happen to the banks?"

    I no longer care - they're fate is already sealed - they will either collapse under they're own failure to see the housing crash and loss of parasitc income as the workers down tools, or they will be torn down by the people when they realise what caused the pain that is about to be unleashed on them.

    It's up to them, they either go the slow way - or the quick way.

    I have moved desks so I am close to the emergency exit - just in case ;)

  • Comment number 87.

    Well its patently obvious to me that these people are just not worth this amount of pay, it is totally unjustifiable. These people are employees after all, not entrapreneurs, not wealth creators, but employees, who are earning lotto win type salaries whilst the vast majority of other people in the same company are paid, in comparison, a pittance.

    I've not got the answer I'm afraid, I believe the market is the best allocator of resources but am also very aware that 'the market' is something that cannot be allowed to go unmanaged. This particular market should be the focus of policy groups and government because this CANNOT BE ALLOWED TO CONTINUE.

    It is surely the role of govenrment to control the excesses in markets when they manifest themselve in this way. The market system is fine, it is the exremes of the market system that need regulating the market for remuneration to all employees is no exception.

    Banks are of course something different. Businesses that create money. It is definately the role of government to control this, through legislation and direction. If our current leader don't do so, then there will eventually be hell to pay.

  • Comment number 88.

    57. At 5:08pm on 03 Nov 2010, virtualsilverlady wrote:

    "Very grateful for that clever translation. You rarely disappoint."

    The pleasure is all mine.

    By looking under the stones there is always something nasty lurking there for those curious enough to find it."

    ...but is the answer not to look - or to turn the stones and face the demons which lurk there?

  • Comment number 89.

    Apologies if anyone posted this before but,

    They're going to put someone in charge of Lloyds that oversaw Satander at the time this little quote came from the BBC....

    "Santander was the worst of the major High Street banks at dealing with gripes within eight weeks, said the Financial Services Authority (FSA)."

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-11438243

  • Comment number 90.

    @82. At 9:21pm on 03 Nov 2010, writingsonthewall wrote:
    "If anyone is in any doubt - please just read this."

    Hello, Sailor!

  • Comment number 91.

    It is hard to reconcile the wonderboy image described by Robert Peston with the image of the personal banking sector of Santander in the UK described by 100's of disillusioned customers in fora on the Internet.

  • Comment number 92.

    WOTW - I am old enough to remember the Winter of Discontent. Just about. Unfortunately the non thinking right wingers used this to usher in a period of neo-liberal economic madness (and neo-con social madness in US) lead by Thatcher and Reagan who made sure they fought wars along the way to keep the masses flag waving. This whilst obfuscating the real issues and making the developing world through the crooks in the IMF and World work to the West's economic model.

    How long before another war where the right wing loons convince us of another boogey man? That is their normal exit strategy.If the depression bites first then there is hope for genuine change where the meek are not subjucated to the whip hand of the economic fascists.

    Maybe the snowball is starting to roll down the hill and I hope when it becomes an avalanche that it taked out the thieves in 'The City' and the Warmongering Murderers that are a scar on this nation.

  • Comment number 93.

    82. At 9:21pm on 03 Nov 2010, writingsonthewall wrote:

    If anyone is in any doubt - please just read this.

    http://www.socialistworker.co.uk/art.php?id=22897



    There is a section in that where the author talks about those with arms joining in the struggle.

    Listen to Amy Goodman. At 41 minutes she talks about the protests In St Paul and how the media were arrested. The protests were led by soldiers in full uniform!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4SboiNM5k70

    For those who watch the who thing, pay attention to the quote she provides of Rand Paul. Once you understand what 'small government reall means, pay attention to the newly elected Rand Paul - yip he won last night.

    If the US has such problems, then don't think those problems will remain in the US. The banks are a cabal, the politicians are a ....

  • Comment number 94.

    writingsonthewall

    Tell me where else you can go to borrow money to buy s house? Or get insurance, or save money with an interest rate, that is what banks do and yes they do this for profit, otherwise what would be their incentive to be in business.

    The capital they raise is from different sources, money markets, and savings and also their own capital. True they do lend money that is customers savings, but surely that is the point of a lending and savings bank - they lend money and save peoples money.

    There are 2 types of bank- a retail bank and an investment bank. The retail bank you see on the high st is a completely different business to the investment bank. 95% of retail bank staff do a good job, give good service and are on a poor salary.

    The financial crisis begun due to people in the US trying purchase homes with little deposit and borrowed more than they could afford, this ended up affecting most UK banks apart from HSBC and Santander as they are not involved in this type of risky practice of wrapping debt a number of times and selling it on. Overalll the UK governmennt will end up making a decent profit on the money ;ent to the banks and then at some point in the future we should have lower taxes if the government stops wasting money like previous governments.

  • Comment number 95.

    92. At 10:07pm on 03 Nov 2010, M_T_Wallet wrote:

    That is an indicator of:

    Lack of decent education in politics/history.





  • Comment number 96.

    Bennyboy

    Overalll the UK governmennt will end up making a decent profit on the money ;ent to the banks and then at some point in the future we should have lower taxes if the government stops wasting money like previous governments.
    =========================================================================

    That's a bold bold statement and not one that is going to happen any time soon. You've got a lot to learn son. Unless of course we sell our stake for 400-500bn which will be the long term ammortised cost to the taxpayer.

    However let's suppose you are right then surely the money lent to the banks by a Labour government was a very wise long term investment and the the current bunch will reap the investment and copy Brown looking for such investment opportunities.

    Or as you said perhaps this govenment can start by stop wasting money - Trident there's a good start. Oh and reclaiming the 60-80bn pounds of unpaid tax by leeches who bleed this country dry without paying a penny.

  • Comment number 97.

    95. At 10:27pm on 03 Nov 2010, copperDolomite wrote:
    92. At 10:07pm on 03 Nov 2010, M_T_Wallet wrote:

    That is an indicator of:

    Lack of decent education in politics/history.
    =========================================================================

    copper - Which part?

  • Comment number 98.

    97. At 10:42pm on 03 Nov 2010, M_T_Wallet wrote:
    copper - Which part?


    Misunderstanding, I'd suggest.

  • Comment number 99.

    @64

    Honesty and the ability to count would disbar me from the members club entry required to get to a senior position in any of our financial houses.

  • Comment number 100.

    12. At 1:00pm on 03 Nov 2010, John Smith
    94. At 10:22pm on 03 Nov 2010, Bennyboy

    You should both go read (again) the speech by Mervyn King as reported by RP
    "Mervyn King Says Banking Must Be Reinvented"

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/robertpeston/2010/10/mervyn_king_says_banking_must.html

    It got 500 posts before being closed!
    What he said is dynamite and I only saw it reported by the media on RP's blog.
    Here is what we must do do next as part of our education...

    http://www.positivemoney.org.uk/

    Forget politics for now, this needs a mass movement.



 

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