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An apology to 98% of bankers

After the banking leaders apologies in government hearings, I think I also have to apologise to my friends in the banking industry.  The apology is for the fact that many of us have spent months now writing stinking anecdotes about bankers, the banking system and how rotten some of it is.

All of this acrimony is directed specifically at a very small group in the
investment community, and not the wider community as a whole.

The apology is to all those folks in the banks who are just hard working people delivering reliable results. The operational, technology services, customer services, administration, processing, branch and related resources who are dedicated individuals doing a good job, just as they have been for the past years or, in some cases, decades.

These folks did nothing wrong and have been tarnished with the brush of the few.

Equally, I am personally passionate about banking which is why I blog about it so much. The reason for my passion is that I grew up with various interests, although technology and money rose to the fore can banking allows me to enjoy those two interests to their fullest extent.

And the banking system is not broken. Everything is still being cleared and settled. Payments transactions are still being processed. Trades are still being executed and customers are still receiving good services.

So I apologise to all who are suffering this never-ending media managed system that paints a picture whereby all bankers are criminals.

It’s not all bankers.

It’s just a few.

A few who created products that they thought were appropriate but were riddled with risks.

Those risks have now manifested themselves in the worst possible manner.

And there are also a few who, like Gordon Gekko in Wall Street, are just money-grabbing, selfish, ruthless, greedy bastards.

Let’s hope that they are the ones flushed out of this system so that it can be cleansed again, and the thousands of good, hard-working folks who are dedicated and conscientious can continue to be recognised as such, instead of the way that the never-ending press commentary appears to place them in the same box as the Gekko’s of this world.

About Chris M Skinner

Chris M Skinner
Chris Skinner is best known as an independent commentator on the financial markets through his blog, the Finanser.com, as author of the bestselling book Digital Bank, and Chair of the European networking forum the Financial Services Club. He has been voted one of the most influential people in banking by The Financial Brand (as well as one of the best blogs), a FinTech Titan (Next Bank), one of the Fintech Leaders you need to follow (City AM, Deluxe and Jax Finance), as well as one of the Top 40 most influential people in financial technology by the Wall Street Journal’s Financial News. To learn more click here...

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  • Chris, as with all criticism of an industry or company, anyone who genuinely takes your comments personally probably ought to see it as constructive and act on it.
    IMHO, Paul Moore’s evidence to the Treasury Select Committee confirms the existence of a top-down culture – possibly not exclusive to HBOS – that might well have produced not only the foolhardy over-expansion Paul mentions, but also the industry’s foot-dragging over slow payments, mis-selling of PPI, apparent blind-eyed acceptance of falsely self-declared income on mortgage applications and what the OFT and customers consider to be allegedly excessive bank charges.
    In the face of this intransigence, FSA and Consumer Credit regulation has got tougher and tougher and more and more complex, fines are commonplace and the Financial Ombudsman’s casebook has swelled. But none of that has been able to save the banks from themselves.
    In fact, maybe all this will change only when all of the 98% of bank staff you mention actually do begin to take all the criticism personally and stage a bottom-up revolution to put the customer first, rather than their managers or executives, board directors or shareholders. If they do that, pretty soon everyone else will realise the direct connection between putting the customer first and a decent profit.
    Rant ends 😉
    Best
    SDJ

  • Chris, as with all criticism of an industry or company, anyone who genuinely takes your comments personally probably ought to see it as constructive and act on it.
    IMHO, Paul Moore’s evidence to the Treasury Select Committee confirms the existence of a top-down culture – possibly not exclusive to HBOS – that might well have produced not only the foolhardy over-expansion Paul mentions, but also the industry’s foot-dragging over slow payments, mis-selling of PPI, apparent blind-eyed acceptance of falsely self-declared income on mortgage applications and what the OFT and customers consider to be allegedly excessive bank charges.
    In the face of this intransigence, FSA and Consumer Credit regulation has got tougher and tougher and more and more complex, fines are commonplace and the Financial Ombudsman’s casebook has swelled. But none of that has been able to save the banks from themselves.
    In fact, maybe all this will change only when all of the 98% of bank staff you mention actually do begin to take all the criticism personally and stage a bottom-up revolution to put the customer first, rather than their managers or executives, board directors or shareholders. If they do that, pretty soon everyone else will realise the direct connection between putting the customer first and a decent profit.
    Rant ends 😉
    Best
    SDJ

  • Chris Skinner

    Good comment Simon and I like the idea of a bottom-up revolution. Vive le revolution!
    Chris

  • Chris Skinner

    Good comment Simon and I like the idea of a bottom-up revolution. Vive le revolution!
    Chris