December 21, 2012 § Leave a comment
The largest banks have become too big to prosecute because of the impact criminal charges would have on confidence in them, Britain’s most senior bank regulator has admitted.
In a variant of the “too big to fail” problem, Andrew Bailey, chief executive designate of the Prudential Regulation Authority, said bringing a legal action against a major financial institution raised “very difficult questions”.
Mr Bailey told The Daily Telegraph that some banks had grown too large to prosecute. “It would be a very destabilising issue. It’s another version of too important to fail,” he said,
“Because of the confidence issue with banks, a major criminal indictment, which we haven’t seen and I’m not saying we are going to see… this is not an ordinary criminal indictment,” he said.
His comments come days after HSBC’s record $1.9bn (£1.2bn) settlement with the US authorities over money-laundering linked to drug-trafficking. US assistant attorney general Lanny Breuer said of the decision not to prosecute: “In this day and age we have to evaluate that innocent people will face very big consequences if you make a decision.” read more
ART [detail]: Alison Watt