City minister Mark Hoban was grilled last night on why no bankers had been arrested, prosecuted and jailed in the UK for their role in the financial crisis.
City minister Mark Hoban was grilled last night on why no bankers had been arrested, prosecuted and jailed in the UK for causing the financial crisis. He was interviewed by Channel Four News’s Jon Snow following the publication of the Vickers report (pdf).
Mr Hoban was repeatedly asked why, unlike in the States, not one single banker had been gaoled:
Jon Snow: “Why hasn’t a single banker been prosecuted yet? You’ve been in power for over a year, it’s now three years since 2008, why isn’t one of them in jail?”
Mark Hoban: “Well the FSA is looking at some of the issues around the management of these banks, and there’ll be a report published on RBS in the near future, but what we’ve sought to do is to ensure that we are looking ahead, trying to learn the lessons from the financial crisis…”
JS: “But I asked you about prosecutions minister, prosecutions. In America, bankers are being prosecuted, the Attorney General for New York has a great laundry list of people that he’s after. I haven’t seen a single name that you want arrested or tested or questioned, not one of them, no one has been held to account, not one.”
MH: “The FSA is working through that at the moment…”
JS: “Three years on, three years on minister, when’s this going to end?”
MH: “But, there, you know, these are, these are, these are complex, these are complex issues which do need to be resolved, but, you know, simply looking to the, to the past won’t help us avoid the crises of the future…”
JS: “I think from what you’ve said we’re not going to see a banker in jail…”
MH: “Well, it’s, the FSA is responsible for enforcement, they are the people who will look at this, and look at the behaviour of a number of individuals and will tackle that issue.”
As Snow writes on his blog today:
“In one month, hundreds of rioters and looters have been prosecuted and punished by the English courts, often for offences with a value of under fifty pounds. Yet the threat to the wellbeing of UKplc was far greater from the bankers than from any number of more arrestable rioters.
“There is a strong impression abroad that the UK doesn’t want to prosecute anyone for the banking crisis, a crisis that has affected every tax payer in the Kingdom. Soon enough the statute of limitations will kick in to ensure that no-one will ever be prosecuted for their role.
“Then we can all breathe easy – no banker will ever go to jail, and we can stop asking the nightly question, ‘why not?’”
Once again, it looks like punishment for the poor, immunity for the rich.Like this article? Sign up to Left Foot Forward's weekday email for the latest progressive news and comment - and support campaigning journalism by making a donation today.