Its not been a good few weeks (months) for Banks. Over 1 million Ulster Bank customers had little or no access to their bank accounts. Technical glitches at sister banks RBS and Natwest meant long weekends for staff and frustration for customers. The UK Prime Minister condemned the service as “unacceptable”.
But the lid really blew off last week with the latest scandal; news of Barclays’ record-breaking fine for fixing the LIBOR and EURIBOR rates.
Significantly, Barclays is not alone in facing investigation as a number of other big names are being investigated. What is apparent is that compliance failings can have a hugely widespread effect, cost the equivalent of a small country in fines, have the power to end careers and provoke huge outcry. Those who have escaped reproach so far need to be on their best behaviour.
No doubt this story won’t be the last, however it does highlight the not-so-subtle shift in public perception of Financial Services. Banks everywhere should be asking themselves if their risk and financial compliance measures could stand up to such public scrutiny.