Several important developments happened within the financial sector in the past days that confirm a new direction in the financial world, despite persistent complaints that “things have not changed.”
On Oct. 29, 2012, Andrew Haldane, the Bank of England’s executive director of financial stability, chaired a discussion in London on “Socially Useful Banking,” Noting that historically, banks were part of the social fabric, but that now the “fabric of banking is torn,” he lauded the Occupy movement for what it had done in raising “the collective conscience of the public and policymakers” and acknowledged that “policymakers have listened and are acting in ways that will close these fault lines.”
Yesterday, the Financial Times reported that the Federal Court of Australia ruled that “S&P and ABN Amro had ‘deceived’ and ‘misled’12 local councils that had bought triple A-rated constant proportion debt obligations from an intermediary in 2006.” S&P had awarded its highest rating to this complex derivative product that collapsed in value less than two years after it was created by ABN Amro’s wholesale banking division. The article reported that this landmark case could pave the way for legal action in Europe.
And today, the Financial Times reported that Allied Irish Banks, which had acquired a €20 billion state rescue, has written to former directors who were in office during the banking crisis to ask them “voluntarily to forgo a portion of their pensions amid growing anger at the scale of payout to bankers.” The Chief Executive noted that while the bank was not legally in any position to force relinquishment of a portion of payment, it noted that there was a strong “moral” case for it.
(Texto enviado por Maria José Melo Antunes)