HSBC scandal latest: how the bank captured a British newspaper

   0   0 Blog, Finance Curse

From Peter Oborne, former chief political commentator for the UK’s mainstream Telegraph newspaper, a tweet that effectively illustrates the ‘country capture’ aspect of the Finance Curse.

The article by Oborne, for those interested in Britain or keen to understand one of the tools that financial institutions use in ‘capturing’ the minds of the general public, it is well worth reading in its own right. It’s devastating.

The Telegraph, we should add, is owned by two very peculiar wealthy brothers, the Barclay Brothers, who have a long and unhappy tax haven history (also here.)

Now here’s another example of ‘country capture’, courtesy of the very same HSBC scandal.

Go figure. A Finance Curse, anyone?

Oh, and one other thing we thought we’d point out, from an FT story entitled UK watchdog to tackle HSBC on standards. The intro paragraph promises some serious action:

HSBC is facing searching questions from regulators over the quality of its internal checks and culture after the Financial Conduct Authority said it was looking into recent revelations that its Swiss private bank helped clients to evade taxes.”

How exciting! And what will these ‘searching questions’ involve?

Well, there’s a small matter of a whistleblower, Sue Shelley, who was sacked after raising the alarm 18 months ago, and who appeared on television last week. The FT reports:

“The FCA said no meeting with Ms Shelley had been scheduled. But the regulator added that it took the issue of whistleblowers “very seriously” and was making it a regulatory requirement that financial institutions have procedures to deal with internal complaints.

The FCA said it had not launched a formal investigation into HSBC and was not looking into the historical details that were published by dozens of news organisations last week allegedly showing the bank colluding with clients to dodge taxes.

Instead the FCA is focused on the question of whether the bank has tightened up its internal controls and culture sufficiently

That is beyond pathetic. Even the Swiss are coming down on HSBC here. In case anyone were in any doubt, that alone is evidence enough that the financial regulator has been thoroughly captured too.

Those with a less sensitive disposition might be inclined to push for an alternative approach: sling ’em in jail. Sign the petition here

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