July 03, 2014

Current bank fines paid in cash is judicial masochism. Fines should instead be paid in voting shares.

Sir, I very much agree with Daniel Zuberbühler’s in that a much more constructive way of sanctioning the banks for misdeeds would be to increase their capital requirements, “In banking capital punishment works better than torture”, July 3. Clearly to punish banks with bribes that go against their capital, precisely when we most need them to be better capitalized so as take on their lending functions, amounts to something like judiciary masochism.

But if populist prosecutors insist on taking that route then I have also proposed sometime ago that the fines should paid by having the perpetrator issue voting shares… which the government needs to unload in the market within a specified period. That would indeed be a better way to punish what needs to be punished, without punishing ourselves.