SKETCH: Head of the Parcel-Passers Gets a Pounding at TSC

Did he regret it? Andrew Tyrie had the regulator in of one of the bodies that is supposed to oversee the banking industry. This one is called the Financial Conduct Authority and seems to have been as useless if not more useless than any of the others. Its boss is called something or other, it doesn’t matter what, but he was the one who approved the appointment of the Rev Mr Flowers to the chair of the Co-op bank.

“I don’t think it was a mistake,” Reggie the Regulator said and kept saying, only adding, “given the information I had at the time.”

But why didn’t he have better information? Ah – well, no one had come forward with it. That had been “disappointing”, in his regulatory opinion. How about the conviction for “gross indecency”? That was not relevant. It was a spent conviction. Or then, his other criminal conviction for drink driving? Both involved, shall we say, risk-taking behaviour (John Mann). Gross indecency, drink driving, no experience of banking, no knowledge of financial services, interviewed for an hour and a half, no references taken up, no check as to whether the Co-op had taken up references, interviewed by two relatively junior officials of the Financial Services Authority . . .

“Didn’t that make any bells ring?” Pat Mcfadden asked

Not with the information the regulator had. And not for the work he was to do. You see, Flowers wasn’t to run the bank he was to run the board.

So, Tyrie rephrased the proposition, marvelling at its oddness, there was a large unruly board with two merged companies represented on it, and faced with a momentous decision that could (and would) wreck the bank and need a billion-pound-plus bail-out . . . the regulator’s solution was “to put a financial illiterate in charge of it?”

Reggie made a reply of some sort. Tyrie asked: “Do you now think that was regrettable?”

“At the time we did our job effectively.”

“How can you possibly say it was correct at the time?”

It was rubbish in/ rubbish out. It was box ticking. It was an elementary mistake. It was a negligent decision.

He certainly took a pounding. What will come of it – we will have to wait and see.

As Andrea Leadsome said “We’ve had witness after witness coming in here saying it wasn’t their fault, and you’re another one.”

The regulator said that the decision wasn’t flawed. The problem was that “the stress analysis crystallised”.

That defence deserves jail-time.

There is only one way that bankers are made to avoid unquantifiable risk: by making them bet with their own money. When they lose, their house goes, they move out beyond the ring road and their children are taken out of school. Maybe we can start including the regulators in this nice paradigm.




Tip offs: 0709 284 0531
team@Order-order.com

Quote of the Day

George Osborne paraphrases Boris, telling the FT:

“If the ball came loose at the back of the scrum, I wouldn’t fumble it”

Guidogram: Sign up

Subscribe to the most succinct 7 days a week daily email read by thousands of Westminster insiders.

Facebook

Labour Illiterate On Illiteracy Labour Illiterate On Illiteracy
Momentum Mock Injured Soldiers Momentum Mock Injured Soldiers
I SCHEMED A SCHEME I SCHEMED A SCHEME
Watch Glitter Balls Watch Glitter Balls
Did Boris Really Want Brexit? Did Boris Really Want Brexit?
Ken Interviewed, Doesn’t Mention Hitler Ken Interviewed, Doesn’t Mention Hitler
Chuka’s Single Market flip-flop Chuka’s Single Market flip-flop
LABOUR HQ PURGE FEARS LABOUR HQ PURGE FEARS
Carter Ruck Deleting Brooks Newmark Sext Pics Carter Ruck Deleting Brooks Newmark Sext Pics
Mandelson Aide Funding Owen Smith Mandelson Aide Funding Owen Smith
OILY WANTED CORBYN TO GO ON OILY WANTED CORBYN TO GO ON
Hinkley: Forseeable Financial Fiasco Hinkley: Forseeable Financial Fiasco
Baroness Shami(less) Baroness Shami(less)
Just How Totes Posh Is Stella Creasy? Just How Totes Posh Is Stella Creasy?
Thornberry “Sky Sexism” Meltdown Thornberry “Sky Sexism” Meltdown
WATCH HILLARY DROP WATCH HILLARY DROP
PMQs Sketch PMQs Sketch
Vaz Broke Law Vaz Broke Law
Cancel Hinkley Cancel Hinkley
Vaz On Front Pages Vaz On Front Pages