Calls in U.K. for Jailing Banksters
September 23, 2012 • 7:50PM

Ian Fraser, a frequent advisor to BBC documentaries on the financial crisis, and Rowan Bosworth-Davies, the former lead investigator to the British FIMBRA regulatory agency (folded into the FSA, Financial Services Authority) have both come for strong prosecutorial action against the criminal bank practices that led to the 2008 crisis. Fraser has published on his website (www.ianfraser.org) his written submission to the Parliamentary Commission on Banking Standards after the commission put on the Parliament website other submissions but not his. We can see why some Dons of the City might object, as he states in the key section: "The changes introduced since the banking crisis of 2007-08, including the 'ringfencing' proposals of Sir John Vickers' Independent Commission on Banking, are a wholly inadequate response to the problems that bedevil the U.K.'s banking sector. Much more radical action is required if it is going to be reformed..."

His proposals begin with:

—"More of those who were responsible for malfeasance and criminality in the banking sector need to be held to account (where appropriate through criminal prosecution/enforcement...."

—"'Too Big to Fail' banks need to be broken up."

—"The separation between retail and investment banking must be enforced structurally, through different ownership, rather than through potentially porous 'ringfences.'"

Ian Fraser ends with a stinging indictment of the failure of the FSA executives to go after white-collar crime, and it ends with a footnote saying he is prepared to submit "further evidence of the immunity from criminal prosecution that appears to have been extended by the UK government to financial institutions...."

Rowan Bosworth-Davies' blog paper on the failure of banks to apply effective anti-money laundering measures states that the U.K. government reports on this problem can have only one interpretation, "that banks were simply ignoring the letter and the spirit of the laws, in return for grabbing as big a chunk of the world's criminal money as possible." His recommendation is straight forward and should be fully applicable for the U.S. too: "The only thing that will bring the world's banking community into line are criminal convictions aimed at the leading practitioners, chief executives, chief operating officers, chief financial directors and above all, the Chairmen of these criminal organizations. A few doses of strong porridge will have a salutary effect!"