Why ask PWC?

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As has been widely reported:

The FSA blamed "bad" decisions rather than dishonesty for the events that led to the £45bn taxpayer bailout of the bank. The [FSA] review by PwC – whose role as an auditor to a number of banks is being investigated by various regulatory bodies – analysed the events that led to RBS's takeover of the Dutch bank ABN Amro as the credit crunch was beginning in late 2007. PwC also looked at rights issues conducted by the bank in 2008, which are the subject of legal action by some shareholders who are concerned they were misled by the bank.

The report will remain secret.

Let’s look at this. First, the appointment of PWC was corrupt: they were obviously not qualified to act. Their own role in the crisis conflicted them out of objectivity. The result was foregone as a consequence. Oh, and yes I did mean corrupt – because that inevitability was desired.

Second, the secrecy is corrupt. We paid for this loss. we should know why we are. Yes, I mean corrupt, again.

Third, did this review ask the right questions? Sure ABN Ambro was important a an issue – but was it a useful diversion so that the real malaise in the bank could be ignored. I think so? The decision to investigate the wrong question also looks corrupt. And yes, I mean it again. 

Regulators who act in this way are not fit for purpose. That’s not a reason for getting rid of the FSA. It is a reason to get decent people to work for it and to ring fence it from the world it regulates.