Fining banks is yesterday’s punishment. Make it personal, and include bars

Posted on

Barclays is expectng to be fined £500 million for rigging foreign exchange markets.

So, it's another day and another massive fine for a bank. Put it in context: this is twice the amount Tescos lost and no one bats an eyelid.

And that's now a problem. The banks are happy to be fined and the economy suffers because what this means is that banks have reduced capital as a result of the loss made and so banking regulation requires that they reduce their risky lending to entities like SMEs who need bank money to keep the economy moving.

The policy of fining does not work any more. Banks rake in some more cash from elsewhere to pay - much of that from QE spiked speculative trading - and the real economy suffers as bankers still walk free.

All three components of that equation are problematic, but the solution is in the last point. Bankers need to suffer personally for these frauds. Then regulation would have impact. Right now bankers still think they are beyond the law. That's what has to change.