If we were to tell you that you are a shareholder in a British bank you might be surprised. If we were to mention that that bank has been consistently running at a loss for a decade you may begin to worry about your investment. If we then said the organisation you’re invested in is accused of asset stripping compromised businesses to make a quick buck you probably wouldn’t believe us. Joining us to discuss RBS’ recent return to profit and whether it is now going to repay the British taxpayers is businessman, RBS victim and former CEO of Torex Retail PLC, Neil Mitchell.
The Royal Bank of Scotland was bailed out to the tune of $45 billion – in return, the managers systematically ripped off their own customers and undermined the British economy. After hearing countless accounts in the House of Commons last week about how business owners were deliberately and systematically bankrupted and then left to, by its own words, “hang themselves”, the government announced its intention to do… well, nothing.
Since the 2008 financial crisis, UK authorities have been absolutely toothless when it comes to prosecuting bankers who’ve broken the law. Is it simple incompetence? Or is our regulatory system designed so that victims fall through the gaps, while banks are permitted to operate above the law. Joining us this week is former Met Detective and victim of RBS GRG’s long-running scheme to defraud its SME customers, Andy Keats, and researcher & campaigner, Joel Benjamin.
Yesterday’s Parliamentary debate into RBS’ long-running scheme to bankrupt hundreds of business owners via its Global Restructuring Group was postponed after an “emergency debate” was called on the humanitarian crisis in Yemen. Sure, it’s selling arms to Saudi Arabia which is using those arms to murder, oppress and starve the Yemeni people, but there’s one surefire way to get the British Government to take foreign diplomacy seriously: threaten them with a banking inquiry.
All those banks and other financial institutions that have gone bust, or been bailed out, over the past 20 years demonstrate that the sector’s corporate conduct has been wayward, to put it mildly. That these dodgy outfits are located in the UK, USA, EU, Japan – virtually anywhere – suggests that, at root, their problems may have as much to do with human nature as jurisdictional regulation.