March 08, 2016

The Banking Standards Board should also require bank regulators to uphold higher ethical standards

Sir, Patrick Jenkins’ discusses what the Banking Standards Board can do influencing the ethics of banks. “Banks gain help on the scandal-strewn road to better behaviour” March 8.

If I were the BSB then, in the case of the fatidical mis-sold mortgage-backed securities, I would come out swinging against the regulators stating:

How on earth did you allow us banks to buy AAA to AA rated securities against only 1.6 percent in capital, meaning we could leverage our bank equity 62.5 times to 1 with that kind of paper? Don’t you know there are very few human bankers able to resist such temptation because, if they did, they would find other banks earning much higher expected risk adjusted returns on equity, leaving them as the dumb kids of the block, or as those who refused to dance while the music was playing?

And now, should those who created the temptations, the devils in the play, be able to go free, while we who fell for the temptations, the weak in flesh, shall bear all guilt? No! That’s not acceptable!

And, if I were accused of the manipulation of Libor, I would at least declare in my defense that such manipulation was really quite harmless when compared to the regulators’ manipulation of the allocation of bank credit to the real economy. That manipulation, which regulators committed with their risk weighted capital requirements for banks, was and is also something completely unethical.

@PerKurowski ©