Tuesday, September 29, 2015

More downright lies from the Tories

It is well said that in politics, a real truth is never established until it is officially denied.

My good friend Monty Rankin from the US sends me a clipping from a US agency, ‘Bloomberg’, which itemises the death of an important piece of proposed UK legislation. It reads;

“...The U.K. abandoned a much campaigned-for change to legislation that would have made it easier to prosecute corrupt companies in the latest nod to a new era of deregulation for business under the re-elected Conservatives.

In a written answer to a lawmaker’s question posted Monday, junior Justice Minister Andrew Selous said the "ministers have decided not to carry out further work" on an expansion of corporate criminal liability laws as there is "little evidence of corporate economic wrongdoing going unpunished." “

I am still reeling from the sheer insouciance of this piece of blatant mendacity and official fibbing. No wonder they picked a minister no-one has ever heard of to trot out this tissue of lies. If it had been announced by George Osborne, every newspaper would have picked up on it, instead of routinely ignoring it as all the tame Tory press has done.

Ever since the Tories were re-elected, they have been engaging in a concerted campaign to undermine laws and regulations designed to bring proper controls to the activities of the legions of organised criminals, spivs, wide-boys and other bankers who populate the City of London, and who serve only the interests of the very rich within the Tory party.

As Will Hutton has said, “...the England over which it (the Tory Party) aims to preside, never-endingly, will be a poisonous, inward-looking and mean-spirited place. It will be welcome only to the super-rich and their insider networks, denying the mass of English citizens the structures and institutions through which they can live the good lives to which they aspire...”

I have already written about the way the Government are seeking to undermine the effect of the legislation which exists to regulate the conduct of business with Politically Exposed Persons, leaving the financial sector now wide open to accept the proceeds of every piece of political skulduggery and chicanery committed by dictators, oligarchs and third-world crooks.

They are doing this deliberately and with every intention so to do, because it is directly enriching their friends in the Square Mile, and in so doing, it is facilitating their own well-heeled futures.

This criminal money is flooding into London and is being used to prop up massive volumes of property speculation as faceless foreign plutocrats buy up off-plan penthouses and luxury apartments, aided by an army of money laundering lawyers and accountants, and secure in the knowledge that their ownership is disguised behind a web of off-shore companies maintained in tax-secrecy havens and organised criminal banking facilities in foreign jurisdictions.

Now, the proceeds of bribery and corruption, the mainstay of dirty business and rotten ethical dealings, particularly in vast swathes of the Middle East, where no deal is completed with the fathers, sons, uncles, cousins or nephews of the ruling families, unless massive sweeteners and fabulous backhanders are paid and given, is being officially ignored. Doing any kind of business in the Gulf States is synonymous with corruption and bribery on a massive scale. Much the same is true in the new kleptocracy of South Africa, where former freedom fighters, now in quasi-official positions, swan around demanding huge bribes, bulging brown envelopes and bungs in order to permit business contracts to be guaranteed.

The whole point of the introduction of the laws dealing with bribery and corruption was to bring a series of regulations and constraints to the activities of the crooked and rotten business givers and getters. It is no good just parroting the tired old mantra ‘...if we don’t pay the bribes, someone else will...’ – that is just a flabby excuse for continuing the status quo.

Prosecutors, academics and lawyers have petitioned the government for years to widen the Bribery Act, a 2011 law that allowed companies to be prosecuted for failing to prevent economic crimes such as fraud and money laundering as well as bribery. 

And the business sector has fought back at every stage. They don’t like being made to be responsible for their actions and the activities of their servants and agents. They don’t like having to take simple precautions which require their staff and agents to be educated in the law and practice of anti-bribery. They don’t want to have to become responsible for a regime of ‘best practice’ designed to prevent the giving and taking of bribes, and they don’t want to have to be made to do this because they are greedy, dishonest, unethical and above all, moral cowards.

It is the same with the requirements of the laws designed to prevent and forestall money laundering – they don’t want to have to be made responsible for these laws because it might mean that they will lose the chance to dishonestly enrich themselves from the proceeds of others’ crimes. Just look at the conduct of HSBC and the way they were prepared to make a business case decision to dishonestly launder billions of dollars of drug money for the Mexican cartels. Don’t tell me this all happened by accident, it was a deliberate and calculated gamble taken by a bunch of serially dishonest men with the aim of profiting thereby.

You only have to review the activities of other banks and the financial institutions to see the exponential volume of criminal wrong-doing that has been committed, but which has gone unpunished.

Far from there being the "little evidence of corporate economic wrongdoing going unpunished." of which the badly-informed junior minister spoke, there has been a tidal wave of criminality which has washed over the Square Mile. There is not one major bank which has not been caught up in this torrent of filth and sleaze, but only one, minor trader has been recently sent to prison.

What about all the rest of the executives and the senior bankers, who have still picked up their bonuses and their rich financial pickings, whose jobs remain secure and who can still count on the Tory party to continue to deliver the goodies?

Fining banks is not a means of punishing them. It merely means that the pain is felt by the shareholders. In all fairness, they should be the ones to register their concern by voting out the criminals who run the banks, but they know which side their bread is buttered and so they just blindly go along to get along.

Now we begin to see the true nature of the business as conducted by the City and its denizens. They want to be free of all constraints which might get in the way of making money, although we should not be too surprised, nothing has changed since the 18th century when Alexander Baring, 2nd son of Francis Baring, and scion of the famous banking family thundered;  ‘...I consider every regulation to be a restriction and, as such, contrary to that freedom which I have held to be the first principle of the well-being of commerce..’ Yes, well, it took Nick Leeson to show the Barings what ignoring regulations meant!

But freedom from all constraints is what they demand and the Tory Government, and this Tory Government particularly, is going to give them what they want.

The decision marks a u-turn by the government, which said in 2012 that the options for dealing with corporate offending were "limited" and the number of convictions each year was ‘too low’ as public displeasure about the Libor and other banking scandals grew. 

Of course they were too low, you can hardly complain about the low conviction rate if your policy is to routinely ignore every scrap of evidence of criminal wrongdoing

"This is a victory for the business lobby that want a soft-touch approach on corporate regulation,” Susan Hawley from NGO Corruption Watch has saidl. “The government will have little credibility on the international stage if it can’t get its own house in order. The idea that there is no evidence that corporate economic wrongdoing is going unpunished is frankly laughable."

The outcome will be a disappointment to the Serious Fraud Office, which has campaigned for the change since Director David Green took over in 2012. The SFO declined to comment. A spokesman for the Ministry of Justice declined to comment beyond Selous’s statement.

The decision is in keeping with the approach to business from the Conservative Party since taking power in May. In a speech in June, Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne said that “simply ratcheting up ever-larger fines that just penalize shareholders, erode capital reserves and diminish the lending potential of the economy is not, in the end, a long-term answer.” The government is keen to harness the financial system to drive growth.

Put that another way and what you can read is;

“...We, the Tory Government do not care about laws or global regulations designed to prevent international criminals from profiting from their crimes. We don’t care where the money comes from as long as it keeps coming into London and our friends in the City can use it to make profits, for themselves, ad by extension, for the Government...”

In many ways, we should not be surprised.

David Cameron’s Cabinet boasts many millionaires, men and women who have made fortunes from the activities of the Square Mile. He himself is the son of a stockbroker, so no stranger to arcane City practices and common Square Mile conventions there, one suspects. George Osborne, son of and heir to a Baronetcy is an example of a modern Tory politician who has not had a real job in his life, apart for a bit of scribbling for the Daily Telegraph between leaving university and joining the Tory Party machine. These men represent a background of immense monied privilege and close social ties which have flowed over into their political life. It is hardly surprising that they would see the City and its denizens in the most positive light. They cannot have, nor, in fairness, do they seek to represent their recognition of or their identification with the lives of the vast majority of ordinary men and women in the UK today. They represent a party, a standard of living, a class, which is frankly out of control, bloated by its addiction to money from whatever source it comes, and representing an elitism which is damaging the entire fabric of the lives of the vast majority of the people of Britain.

Will Hutton has captured the real crisis at the heart of this Conservative Government.
“The tragedy of British politics is that today our centre-right has gone rogue. The English Conservative party, which always had a tendency to be as fierce a partisan for its class as any party of the extreme left, has so deified its self-appointed role as custodian of Englishness that it has given itself permission to put its own interests before those of the country...’

Those interests also include those of the City of London and its adherents, which is why this Tory Government will never do anything remotely likely to undermine the interests of their family friends in the Square Mile, and why junior ministers are able to make public utterances such as that made by Andrew Selous, without any shame or sense of the ridiculous.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Banking crime blog goes viral – Bank fraud now an electoral issue!

The blog I posted yesterday which dealt with the almost universal recognition at the Cambridge Financial Crime Symposium of banking crime as organised enterprise crime, has clearly not fallen on deaf ears.

As a result of the response to my piece, I decided to further test the state of play by tweeting “...Now, the Labour Party are free to openly express their repugnance of the UK banking sector. City crime is an electoral issue for once!...”

My Twitter account ( @RowanBosworth ) has gone wild, with all the shares and re-tweets of my blog. People I have never heard of are contacting me to tell me their stories of their treatment at the hands of the banking criminals.

One poor woman who had owned a thriving practice, wrote to me to tell me of the half-million pound swap derivative she had been stuffed into by one of our ethically-challenged banks and how they and their scum-sucking lawyers were making her life a misery seeking to evict her and make her bankrupt.

I estimate there must be many hundreds if not thousands of ordinary business people out there who have suffered similar treatment at the hands of these pariah criminal banking gangs.

This level of organised crime has gone on almost unnoticed, as our joint attentions have been otherwise focused on such issues as LIBOR manipulation, PPI fraud, Forex fraud, money laundering and insider dealing.

It seems incredible, even now, to think that we are talking about the traditional British banking sector, but there you are, that’s the way it is! 

Whenever issues such as these are raised, the usual response from Parliament or Ministers or Civil Servants is that they have or have had no knowledge or information regarding the existence of such financial criminality in the financial sector, and that if any such wrong-doing is going on, it is the work of a few rogue traders or rotten apples, but that the vast majority of the banking sector practitioners are honest and honourable people.

Well, I don’t believe that now, and I didn’t believe it, back in August 2012, when I submitted a written response to the Parliamentary Commission on Banking Standards.

This massive enquiry sought to review standards in banking and to make recommendations to Parliament for processes for change.

I started my response by adopting the required format as laid down in the rules for the submission of such documents. I wrote:

“...The views and opinions expressed in this paper are entirely those of the author and reflect no other agency, department or company.

  • This paper makes the assertion that the British Banking Industry has become identical with an Organised Criminal Enterprise.
  • It examines the nature of the criminogenic personality and determines the kind of person who is more likely to break the criminal law and why.
  • It asserts that this state of affairs has been allowed to develop because of the failure of the regulatory process to develop the necessary skills and knowledge of the conduct of criminals to enable them to deal professionally with the misdeeds of the banking sector and the reluctance of the regulators to use their statutory powers effectively.
  •  It defines why there needs to be a far greater degree of criminal prosecution brought against financial practitioners and explains why such processes are among the only penalties that such practitioners truly fear...”
I set out a fairly cogent statement making the point that the ‘...British Banking Industry has become identical with an Organised Criminal Enterprise...’

I then proceeded to set out my reasoned arguments why I believed the banking industry had become such a criminal enterprise.

I began by applying three independent definitions of Organised Crime, and followed this with some observations of my own. I wrote:

"...Organised crime is a structure that includes two or more people whose purpose is to commit one or more serious crimes or offences for financial gain or material benefit..." (Australia)

"...It is serious crime planned and carried out by a group of at least three people to benefit one or more members of the group...! (Canada)

"...Organised crime constitutes any enterprise, or group of persons, engaged in continuing illegal activities which has as its primary purpose the generation of profits, irrespective of national boundaries... (UK)

The British banking sector has become an organised criminal enterprise which has been allowed to develop because of the criminogenic environment in which it functions, which has resulted from the absence of any meaningful regulation which those who control and manage the banks would fear.

In this organised criminal category I include the various mis-selling cases, including pensions, PPI Insurance and interest rate swap derivatives; the criminal manipulation by Barclays and other banks of the LIBOR interest rate structures; the institutionalised level of money laundering as identified in the HSBC case; the serial abuse of the US sanctions provisions as indicated in the Standard Chartered Bank case; as well as many other examples of criminal actions such as theft of client funds, teeming and lading, abuse of client instructions, insider dealing, front running, churning, and market manipulation which have become the subject of international regulatory interventions.

If the recent financial devastation in UK financial markets has taught us anything, one qualifier stands out above all the rest of the explanations. The effective ‘regulation’ of the market in financial services in the United Kingdom, particularly in the areas of preventing and forestalling commercial activity which has the capability to undermine the well-being of the financial market, in which I include not only financial criminality and money laundering, but also the pro-active identification and prevention  of financial damage has, to all intents and purposes, totally failed.

 It has failed despite the huge bureaucratic organisation which has been created for its control, because those who are employed to provide the regulatory oversight of the market, the Lead Regulator, the Financial Services Authority, and the subordinate compliance officers within the individual regulated member firms, do not and have never understood the true nature of the criminogenic personality of so many of those who profess the trade of financial practitioner, nor do they exhibit any great inclination to wish to deal with the egregious activities of these individuals in a 'policing' manner…”

The rest of the 85 paragraph report was sent to the Banking Commission on line.

The Report was cynically not circulated by the Secretariat, but its contents were deliberately suppressed and the staff of the Commission denied they had ever received it.

After a series of conflicting conversations, I was advised that the report had not been submitted to members of the Committee because ‘…the banks would not like its contents…’ I pointed out that this was the least of my concerns and that I believed the Committee should know of the report. I was told that it would need to be subject to significant redactions, before it could be circulated.

It was only after I wrote to the Chair of the Committee, Andrew Tyrie and told him of my concerns that my report was being deliberately suppressed that it was eventually circulated in February 2013.

Even so, the existence of my report and the fact that it had been submitted in written form was not reported in the list of submitted evidence, and I was later told in a letter  dated 2nd July 2013, that this was as a result of an ‘administrative oversight’.
Of course, I naturally believe that!

I was also told by the Chairman that “ We read your submission with interest…although it was circulated some time after you submitted it… “

He also said that my submissions “…would be added to the electronic copies of the report and a hard copy would be added to the printed volumes of the report. I have asked the Commission staff to inform you when this has taken place…”

I am still waiting for their confirmation.

I do not believe that it is the function of Government servants to decide what evidence a Select Committee should or should not see and read. It is a measure of the arrogance of our public servants that they could have done this. Worse, it is an example of how such servants can and will suppress evidence and information which they don’t like or which runs counter to accepted wisdom.

Many of the people with whom I have communicated over the fraudulent sale of derivative products, the members of the SME Alliance, have openly commented upon the fact that detailed evidence which they have submitted to Government agencies to support their claims of fraud and wrongdoing, have either just disappeared into an official black hole, or have been ignored or worse, denied.

We have to come to terms with the fact that the protection of these criminal banks has now become a number one priority for the Tory government. It is no longer merely a scandalous suggestion to make that the Prime Minister and the Chancellor do not want to hear evidence of their crimes, it is a fact. This Government cannot afford to admit that much of the money that comes into GB plc from the City, is or are the proceeds of downright fraud and financial crime.

This is why they insist on maintaining the obscure shibboleth that most banking crime is only ‘mis-selling’, because it is easier to ignore the wanton criminality present in the actions of bankers when you submit it to the emollient terms of being just a minor contractual breach.

It is no such thing, it is downright fraud of the worst and most blatant kind, and frankly, I do not understand how Cameron and Osborne can go on receiving this stolen money into the Government’s coffers before they are accused of an institutionalized exercise in money laundering by the Government.

This is why such reports as mine are suppressed, denied and covered up, because these men do not want to hear the truth of what passes for ordinary commercial business in the City of London.

If they were to start to take words like mine seriously, then they would be forced to do something about it, but as we all learned in Cambridge this year, despite the fact that we have a whole series of agencies whose function is allegedly dedicated to dealing with financial crime, none of them want to get involved if they can possibly find a convenient excuse for not taking on the allegation.

Our anti-fraud and financial regulatory process is a farce, and the plethora of agencies out there masquerading as providing an anti-fraud function, are simply not fit for purpose.

That is why I assert that financial crime and banking wrong-doing has now become a major electoral issue. It was no point in trying to get the previous Labour administration to take such a case on because so many of their leaders were implicated in conniving at the smoke and mirrors arrangements created between the City and the Government.

The reformed Labour opposition should be in a position to see where the crimes have been committed and we must hope that they will see the value in engaging with this scandal head on.

Sunday, September 13, 2015

The banking criminals exposed.

Jesus College, Cambridge hosted, once more, the world’s leading Symposium on Economic Crime, and over 500 distinguished speakers and panellists drawn from the widest possible international fora, gathered to make presentations to the many hundreds of delegates and attendees.

This Symposium has indeed become an icon among other international gatherings of its knd and over the years, it has proved to be highly influential in the driving and development of international policy aimed at combating international financial and economic crime.

What became very quickly clear this year was the general sense of deep disgust and repugnance that was demonstrated towards the global banking industry.

I can say with some degree of certainty now that a very large number of academics, law enforcement agencies, and financial compliance consultants are now joined, as one, in their total condemnation of significant elements of the global banking sector for their organised criminal activities.

Many banks are widely identified now as nothing more than enterprise criminal organisations, who engage in widespread criminal practice and dishonest conduct as a matter of course and deliberate commercial policy.

Speaker after speaker addressed the implications of the scandalous level of PPI fraud, whose repayment and compensation schedules now run into billions of pounds.

Some speakers struggled with the definition of such activity as ‘Mis-selling’ and needed to be advised that what they were describing was an institutionalised level of organised financial crimes involving fraud, false accounting, forgery and other offences involving acts of misrepresentation and deceit.

One of the side issues which came out of this and other debates, was the general and genuine sense of bewilderment that management in these institutions concerned, (and very few banks and financial houses have escaped censure for this dishonest practice) have walked away from this orgy of criminal antics, completely unscathed. The protestations from management that these dishonest acts were carried out by a few rogue elements, holds no water and cannot be justified.

Similar exercises were carried out examining other forms of financial malfeasance, including Forex manipulation and specifically LIBOR criminality.

The latter area of wrongdoing was amplified and illuminated by the recent conviction of the broker Tom Hayes whose bizarre and dysfunctional behaviour at Southwark Crown Court, even while he was standing trial for his criminal wrongdoing became subject to discussion. 

His arrogance and the degree of contempt he demonstrated for prosecuting counsel and the jury was described as ‘truly breathtaking’

My colleague who attended the trial, described Hayes as appearing aghast that he should be standing in the dock, proving, as my friend said, how little he really understood of the moral standards which could and should be expected of people who trade in those markets that will have a strong impact on other people’s investments and savings, and described Hayes as possessing no moral or ethical dimension at all.

One workshop which I found particularly revealing, and from which I am still trying to extricate my emotions was the break-out session hosted by members of the SME Alliance.

This is an organisation made up of ordinary people who have had the misfortune to be defrauded out of millions of pounds by the major banks, and from whom they are seeking redress. Their excellent website, www.smealliance.org  gives significant information about them and their campaigns.

I listened with mounting horror and a feeling of growing nausea, while examples of massive conspiracies to defraud small and medium size businesses were outlined in cryptic detail. 

Good honest (but possibly unsophisticated) businessmen being inveigled into commercial relationships with banks, at the same time as seeking commercial lending to enhance and develop their already successful businesses.

Particularly nauseating was evidence of the criminal defrauding (I refuse to use the weasel words ‘mis-selling’) achieved through the use of little-understood and unwanted derivative instruments.

In the end, I sat there, open-mouthed while evidence against the same old usual scum-bag financial institutions, was unrolled, and a lengthy list of agencies, all apparently dedicated to dealing with fraud and financial crime, lamely sought to explain why they were powerless to help these victims.

This was followed by a lengthy list of names of major law firms, and Big 5 accounting firms who were willing to join with these pariah banks to bring complex and expensive legal actions against these victims, bankrupting them, forcing them from their homes, repossessing properties they had worked for years to create, while all the time, the regulators and the other agencies, including to my shame and regret, certain spineless police forces, stood by and sought to justify their inaction.

At one stage, we were shown how banks ritually and deliberately take transcripts of telephone calls made between complainants and the bank, and deliberately and systematically go through these conversations, re-editing them and reproducing them in a format which is much more favourable to the bank.

I mean, occasionally it can be difficult to interpret a specific word or even part of a sentence uttered on a bad telephone line, but this was evidence of routine re-editing that had gone on, page after page after page, suppressing conversation which put the bank in a bad or critical light, and purporting to be documentary evidence as to the truth of a conversation.

These documents were blatant forgeries, and at one point, not being able to remain quiet any longer, I burst out in my anger ‘These are nothing but downright forgeries, and these people have uttered them’. 

These documents had been used against these victims during the course of legal proceedings brought against them by the banks, and specifically designed to damage them. 

They are primary proof of a conspiracy to pervert the course of justice by the banks, and any judge worth his salt would see through them in an instant, but any time one of these victims ever gets within sniffing distance of a settlement with one of these mafia banks, then they are hit with huge gagging orders as part of the settlement process, denying them the right to use these documents.

I could go on and report more, but I urge you to go to the website and read it and spend time on engaging with its contents. These good people deserve all the help they can get but there is a massive army of professional lawyers, accountants, insolvency practitioners, and bank consultants out there, weasels and vermin growing fatter on the money they are being paid to maintain this concerted financial attack on some of the most entrepreneurial people of our era. You would think that these professionals would have some shame at such dishonest actions, but there is no apparent shame evidently in earning fees culled from the misery of others, and predicated by crimes of such meanness and damaging magnitude that even Al Capone would blush for shame.

I was asked to speak at a break-out workshop which looked at the outcome from the HSBC Mexican money laundering affair, and what lessons we could draw from the entire episode.
I was particularly fortunate to be able make use of a detailed document issued by the US authorities who had supervised the deferred prosecution agreement against HSBC.

What I sought to achieve was to demonstrate how over a period of years, HSBC had routinely and deliberately under-resourced and under-valued any attempts to implement decent and workable anti-money laundering procedures and processes.

I made the point that in my opinion, this was a deliberate decision, predicated by the knowledge that the British financial regulators, the FSA and latterly, the FCA were unlikely to do anything to force HSBC to change.

I quoted from the US document;

“...HSBC Bank USA violated the BSA by failing to maintain an effective anti-money laundering program and to conduct appropriate due diligence on its foreign correspondent account holders.  

“...A four-count felony criminal information was filed today in federal court in the Eastern District of New York charging HSBC with willfully failing to maintain an effective anti-money laundering (AML) program, willfully failing to conduct due diligence on its foreign correspondent affiliates, violating IEEPA and violating TWEA.  HSBC has waived federal indictment, agreed to the filing of the information, and has accepted responsibility for its criminal conduct and that of its employees.  

“...The record of dysfunction that prevailed at HSBC for many years was astonishing.  Today, HSBC is paying a heavy price for its conduct, and, under the terms of today’s agreement, if the bank fails to comply with the agreement in any way, we reserve the right to fully prosecute it.

“....  “HSBC’s blatant failure to implement proper anti-money laundering controls facilitated the laundering of at least $881 million in drug proceeds through the U.S. financial system. 

“..., this financial institution is being held accountable for turning a blind eye to money laundering that was occurring right before their very eyes. 

“... 2006 to 2010, HSBC Bank USA severely understaffed its AML compliance function and failed to implement an anti-money laundering program capable of adequately monitoring suspicious transactions and activities from HSBC Group Affilliates, particularly HSBC Mexico, one of HSBC Bank USA’s largest Mexican customers.  This included a failure to monitor billions of dollars in purchases of physical U.S. dollars, or “banknotes,” from these affiliates.  Despite evidence of serious money laundering risks associated with doing business in Mexico, from at least 2006 to 2009, HSBC Bank USA rated Mexico as “standard” risk, its lowest AML risk category.  As a result, HSBC Bank USA failed to monitor over $670 billion in wire transfers and over $9.4 billion in purchases of physical U.S. dollars from HSBC Mexico during this period, when HSBC Mexico’s own lax AML controls caused it to be the preferred financial institution for drug cartels and money launderers.   

“..., identified multiple HSBC Mexico accounts associated with BMPE activity and revealed that drug traffickers were depositing hundreds of thousands of dollars in bulk U.S. currency each day into HSBC Mexico accounts.  Since 2009, the investigation has resulted in the arrest, extradition, and conviction of numerous individuals illegally using HSBC Mexico accounts in furtherance of BMPE activity.

What was being amply demonstrated here was the cynical and deliberate flouting of UK and US laws to help to prevent and forestall money laundering. It was typical of the kind of financial crimes being routinely committed by a wide cross-section of the UK and the US banking system, and it was the subject of wide discussion among those attending the workshop.

For the first time, I found routine agreement among delegates that the banking industry had become synonymous with organised crime. Many otherwise more conservative attendees expressed their grave concern and their repugnance at the way in which so many of our most famous banking names were now behaving. It is becoming very much harder to believe that the banks will be able to rely on the routine support they have traditionally enjoyed from most ordinary members of the public.

The election of Jeremy Corbyn to the leadership of the labour Party means that banking crime and financial fraud will now become an electoral issue. 

Hitherto, the love affair between Gordon Brown and the Square Mile was a matter of grave embarrassment for many of us who knew better. Brown’s routine praising of the financial sector at mansion House dinners was the stuff of many bad jokes. These were exacerbated by the relationship between Ed Balls and some very dubious practitioners in the development of the PFI relationships. During this period, it seemed like the labour Party were openly supporting the bad practices of the City.

But now, the new Labour leadership will focus the attention of the electorate on the relationship between the Tory party and their very crooked friends in the City, and the degree of protection that the Square Mile gangsters and their Consiglieri, their Capos, and their Godfathers will become much more identifiable. Bank crime will now become much more identifiable as a City practice and their friends in the Tories will be seen as being primary beneficiaries.

The spotlight of political focus is now about to be shone brightly on the dark alleys and stews of the Square Mile, as well as in the dining rooms and the dealing rooms where these crooked vermin gather.

We are due to enjoy some interesting times!