Yesterday, Bob Diamond, Barclays Bank’s CEO came before a parliamentary committee in London. As part of his submission, and when talking about banker’s bonuses and salaries, he said that the time for “remorse and apology” by banks over their role in the financial crisis should end. (By the way, Bob earned £ 18 million last year, without apology I am sure).

Bob might be right in theory. But until the banks have paid back the loans they took, and returned value to government (taxpayer) shareholders who now own them, and returned value to all the people who might have lost their investments managed by the banks, they still need to feel remorse.

As for an apology, I don’t remember hearing one. Bob? When did you apologise? That would be nice. Just do it once, and we can move on from there.

By the way, Bob, your story was on the front page of today’s FT newspaper. I wonder if you turned over to see the details at the top of page 3? I am sure you did. Did your eye maybe scan down to the bottom of page 3? If it did, you would have seen this headline:
RBS fined £2.8m for failing customers. How bad a failure must it be for the FSA to fine a bank? Huge failure!

Remorse and apology. I don’t remember it ever being something banks did anyway. Maybe the time for delusion and arrogance is past. But remorse, apology and improvement would be most welcome.

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