Fail to act with financial prudence in the years to come, and you could face a prison sentence, thanks to proposals that have won the support of the current UK government.
The suggestion that senior financial services professionals
should face legal charges of reckless misconduct is made in the newly published Parliamentary Commission on Banking Standards’ report Changing Banking For Good.
It is perhaps long overdue for many Britons following several years of watching the ‘banksters’ who brought about the current financial crisis receive sizeable bonuses or retire with their pensions intact.
But it is a way of preparing for the future, so that any similar banking crisis in the years to come does not pass without its creators being brought to justice.
Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne says: “Cultural reform in the banking sector marks the next step in the government’s plan to move the whole sector from rescue to recovery and ensure thatUKbanks demonstrate the highest standards, and are able to support business and drive economic growth.”
Already certain changes have taken effect in 2013; in April, the Bank of England was given a more direct role in supervising the financial services sector.
July has seen parliamentary votes on placing an ‘electric ringfence’ around financial institutions’ retail banking operations, as a means of insulating retail customers against stock market shocks.
Cultural changes in banking – which form the core of the PCBS report – are also being introduced through efforts taken in July.
And by September 2013, work will have been undertaken to make switching accounts even easier than it already is under the existing Banking Code.
Mr Osborne says: “The government is determined to raise standards across the banking industry to create a stronger and safer banking system.”