Yes, it's the first of May, also known as May Day, and the communist world's celebration of the victory over capitalism. Quite why MayDay became the international distress message over radio is not known to me, but I'd like to know!
The bank went through their customer base and identified which businesses were asset rich and cash poor.
Typically, the SME (small to medium enterprise) would require funding for expansion or to cover short term exposures, and the bank’s relationship manager would work with the business owner on a loan funding cover.
The loan may be for five or ten years, and the relationship manager would often call the client after a short time and say “congratulations, you’ve got the funding”.
The business owner would be delighted and would start committing the funds.
This would start the process of the disturbance sale of the IRSA.
The rest you can imagine - the bank sold an inappropriate derivative with false information, and without advising the customer of the true costs. This time however the costs were more severe, as it seems that many such businesses went out of business in whole or in part because of the dodgy sale.
In particular, the core issue is that no-one has defined whether the bank will be responsible for contingent liabilities.
The liabilities are for losses made by those businesses that were mis-sold these products and, as a result, have now gone into bankruptcy or been constrained so much that they have been unable to compete or grow their business as they would have if they had not taken these products.
Ouch! I have to applaud Chris Skinner and the Financial Services Club here for coming forth with this information. It is time for society to break ranks here and start dealing with the banks. If this is not done, the banks will bring us all down, and it is not clear at all that the banks aren't going to do just that.
Meanwhile back to the scandal du jour. We are talking about 40k businesses, with average suggested compensation of 2.5 million quid - so we are already up to a potential exposure of 100 billion pounds. Given this, there is no doubt that even the most thickest of the dumbest can predict what will happen next:
Mainly because of the Parliamentary investigation, the Financial Services Authority was kicked into action and, on June 29 2012, announced that it had found "serious failings in the sale of IRSAs to small and medium sized businesses and that this has resulted in a severe impact on a large number of these businesses.”
However, it then left the banks to investigate the cases and work out how to compensate and address them .
The banks response was released on January 31 2013, and it was notable that between the June announcement and bank response in January that the number of cases rose from 28,000 to 40,000. It was also noteworthy that of those 40,000 cases investigated, over 90% were found to have been mis-sold. That’s a pretty damning indictment.
Even then the real issue, according to Jeremy [of Bully Banks], is that the banks are in charge of the process.
Not only is the fox in charge of the chickens, it's also paying off them off for their slaughter. Do we really need to say more? The regulators are in bed with the banks in trying to suppress this scandal.
Obviously, this cunning tactic will save poor banks money and embarrassment. But the emerging problem here is that, as suggested many times in this blog (e.g., 2, 3, 4, ...) and elsewhere, the public is now becoming increasingly convinced that banks are not healthy, honest members of society.
But I see an issue emerging in the next systemic shock to hit the financial world: if the public's patience is exhausted, as it appeared to be over Cyprus, then the next systemic shock is going to cause the collapse of some major banks. For right or wrong, the public is not going to accept any more talk of bailouts, taxpayer subsidies, etc etc.
The chickens are going to turn on the foxes, and they will not be satisfied with anything less than blood.
One hopes that the old Lady's bank tear-down team is boned up and ready to roll, because they'll be working hard soon.Posted by iang at May 1, 2013 04:34 AM | TrackBack