Oh dear. Just as the Nat West debacle was coming to a conclusion, Britain’s financial institutions have been dealt another hammer blow to their less-than-impressive credibility, with Barclays being landed with a £290m fine for manipulating interest rates amid calls for chief exec Bob Diamond to stand down.
Apparently, up to 20 other banks will be implicated in the scandal, which relates to the complicated-sounding ‘manipulation of the London Interbank Lending Rate' (or Libor, as it’s commonly known) which has a big effect on what they likes of you and I pay for our loans and mortgages.
The Financial Services Authority was alerted to the procedure by a trail of emails between traders and Barclays insiders which doesn’t exactly do much to dispel those ‘city boy’ banker stereotypes.
After granting a request by a trader for a change to keep a lending rate artificially low, a banker said to a trader: "Done ... for you big boy," to which the trader responded: "Dude, I owe you big time! Come over one day after work and I'm opening a bottle of Bollinger." Maybe they were going to have a Libor party?
Bob Diamond, along with other Barclays ‘top brass’ have opted not to take their bonus payments this year- there’s nice of them. The bank’s share price was down 16% at lunchtime today. Are YOU fed up with your bank? Then have a look at what's on offer elsewhere with Gocompare.com's super current account comparison service.