Sep 7 2012
Disgraced lender Barclays has called for a new industry body to be formed with the power to ban rogue bankers in the wake of the rate rigging scandal, it has emerged.
Barclays has suggested that bankers in key parts of the industry should be made to sign a public register from which they could be struck off, according to Sky News, which has seen a Barclays' submission to the Parliamentary Commission on Banking Standards.
The register would be overseen by a new body called the Chartered Institute of Bankers, which would have the power to discipline or even ban any that breach codes of conduct.
Top bankers can currently be fined or banned by the FSA, but the proposals would extend to a much wider proportion of the industry.
The bank, which has recently appointed Antony Jenkins as its new chief executive after Bob Diamond was forced to step down following the Libor-fixing affair, said the body would "promote and develop professional standards across the industry".
The commission was set up in the wake of the Libor scandal by Prime Minister David Cameron to look at ways of restoring public trust in the scandal-hit sector.
The new body would be independent of the banking industry but would be funded by the major banks. It said a Chartered Institute for Bankers would offer "certainty and confidence to customers that they are being served by qualified and trustworthy professionals who are bound by a code of conduct and are individually 'licensed'". The body could work alongside the Financial Conduct Authority, which will take control of financial regulation next year, it said.
Mr Jenkins has made restoring trust in the bank one of his main missions. Barclays is reeling after being caught up in a raft of scandals that saw chairman Marcus Agius and chief operating officer Jerry del Missier follow Mr Diamond out the door.
Its most recent blow came when the Serious Fraud Office launched an investigation into payments made between Barclays and Middle East investors it tapped for funds at the height of the financial crisis. A similar probe by the FSA had been revealed just days earlier.
Barclays was also fined £290 million by UK and US regulators for manipulating Libor, an interbank lending rate which affects mortgages and loans. The beleaguered bank has also been caught up in a separate investigation, as it faces a potential £450 million bill for mis-selling complex financial products to unwitting small businesses. And like several other banks, it faces a huge compensation bill for mis-selling payment protection insurance (PPI).