Is Banking Crime Not Real Crime?

criminal banksI try to keep my posts limited to thoughts on leadership, keeping out of politics and things going on in the news as much as possible.

I prefer to share my thoughts on what leadership should be, rather than any opinions I might have on what is going on in the world.

But today I shake my head in amazement as I hear another story about how another bank, this time Credit Suisse, breaks the law and is just punished with a fine.

It’s not just that they seem to be flaunt the laws and seem to get away with it, it’s the arrogance, sense of self entitlement, and lack of remorse that shocks me.

This is a quote from the Chief Exec which appeared on the BBC website.

Brady Dougan, said: “Having this matter fully resolved is an important step forward for us. We have seen no material impact on our business resulting from the heightened public attention on this issue in the past several weeks.”

He is more worried about the impact on the banks financial performance than he is of any wrong doing.

With all of the banking scandals that we have seen in last few years it’s hardly surprising that, in spite of much negative publicity, the banks financial performance has not been impacted, as we seem to be so used to these things we just ignore it.

This is where I really despair, we should be taking action against Credit Suisse, taking our business away from them, but we too are now accepting of banks breaking laws, them paying a fine and moving on unscathed.

Until we do something about it like complain about a lack of convictions, or take our business away from these banks that plead guilty to criminal activities, they will just continue along in this vain.

When you read the article about this, the depth of activity associated with these criminal charges is huge, its not just a one-off event, or one rogue banker doing wrong, it goes much deeper than that, as we can see from this excerpt from the BBC article.

Mr Holder told a press conference: “The bank went to elaborate lengths to shield itself, its employees, and the tax cheats it served, from accountability for their criminal actions.”

“They subverted disclosure requirements, destroyed bank records, and concealed transactions involving undeclared accounts by limiting withdrawal amounts and using offshore credit and debit cards to repatriate funds.”

He added that the tax evasion schemes went back decades, saying that in one case, the practice of using sham entities began more than 100 years ago.

Yet even in spite of such a broad program of activities the bank managed to retain it’s banking licence.

It does make me wonder what they would need to do in order to lose it.

It looks like banks are above the law, they are free to get away with any wrong doings  no matter how large, with effectively just a slap on the wrist.

In any other area of life stiff sentences would be dished out, examples would be made, but banks seem to be immune from prosecution.

This is because we tolerate it!

I think the key lesson here is that if you’re going to break the law its best to be a banker!

If you’d like to read the BBC article in full here is the link.

Gordon Tredgold

#Leadership Principles