One thing I keep hearing in relation to the banking crisis is the mantra “banks must build trust!”. I would hope the finacial sector had taken heed of this by now, but what evidence have we seen? The first steps are apologising and explaining, and I haven’t noticed any proactive attempts to address either.
Admittedly, I haven’t been closely following financial matters as of late: my attention has been focused on more pressing personal matters like finishing assignments and starting research. And frankly I can’t take much more of it. When the finacial crisis hit it seemed like a matter of urgency, but now as we navigate the recession I’ve become a little apathetic.
I think it’s safe to say that the protests on the eve of the G-20 eclipsed any progress and consensus that was made during the consultation, at least for the average UK citizen. At the centre of it was RBS, unsurprisingly. After being bailed out by £20 billion of taxpayers’ money and CEO Fred Goodwin walking away with an annual £700,000 pension for life, they’ve got a lot to answer for.
The whole thing was handled badly. Admittedly, the anger shouldn’t have been directed at the police but what do you expect from a protest? That doesn’t give them the right to beat people with weapons, infiltrate the peaceful climate camp and pen people in all day, does it? Anyway this is not my point.
Personal politics asside, the thing that has stuck in my mind is the image of city workers waving ten pound notes from their office windows, antagonising the protesters. Will these idiots ever learn? That sends a clear message to the general public that certain members of the city are yet to even register a shred of remorse. It’s easy for them to dismiss the majority of the protesters as anti-capitalists or “dirty anarchists”, but they fail to make the connection with the preveiling mood of society. Capitalism is no longer the holy grail, as proved by the numbers of protesters, so I wouldn’t expect this to be the only backlash.
My point is that the banking sector will never rebuild its reputation with cretins like these looking down their noses at the less fortunate. I know it was the actions of a minority that caused the finacial crisis, but the image of the unscrupulous banker has spread throughout the sector. Stunts like this will not help their cause.