Bankers should no longer be allowed to hide behind their organisations making public which individuals are named in Libor-fixing investigations is a good place to start
A request by 106 current and former employees of Barclays to remain anonymous during a court case over manipulation of Libor has been rejected by a High Court judge.
This may be a worrying development for many bankers, but overall it is a welcome step towards improving the accountability of banks. Multi-million pound fines may cause some pain to banks, and are embarrassing to explain to shareholders, but ultimately these losses can easily be absorbed by corporate giants. They also rarely have an impact on the individuals responsible for reckless, or even illegal, decisions.
Mark Nayler, discussing the jailing of rogue HSBC banker Kweku Adoboli, made a compelling case for holding individuals to account, saying that Adoboli's sentencing 'sends out a powerful message to the banking community' that individual bad behaviour can — and should — have serious repercussions.
Discussing the fact that HSBC's chief executive merely had to apologise for the bank's failure to adhere to anti-money laundering legislation he asked 'is that really enough?' The answer is clear: it's not.
When many banks are 'too big to fail', and their actions have huge repercussions on both the real economy and national governments, bankers are incredibly powerful individuals. And like anyone with an important public role, they should be held personally accountable for their actions.
For too long, dishonest, reckless and short-sighted behaviour has gone unpunished. Bankers should no longer be allowed to hide behind their organisations — making public which individuals have been named in Libor-fixing investigations is a good place to start.
Read more by Sophie McBain