Time to stamp out the culture of greed and corruption
The Workers’ Party has called for the immediate resignation of the Chief Executive of Barclays Bank, Bob Diamond, after the latest revelations about the culture of greed and pursuit of personal profit by the bank’s senior management. Together with the recent revelations in
Northern Ireland about the First Trust bank it demonstrates beyond any shadow of a doubt that nothing has changed in the banking sector and that only the total control of the banks through full nationalisation and state ownership will guarantee an end to the systematic and odious practices of the financial and banking sector.
Last year Bob Diamond had the audacity to plead before a Westminster committee for an end to public criticism of the banks. Yet staff at Barclays have been found guilty of manipulating interest rates in order to make obscene personal profits and bonuses at the expense of hard-pressed taxpayers. This is not the work of a few bad apples but endemic in the banking sector. Indeed, it would have been impossible for Barclays to manipulate the LIBOR interest rate without the active cooperation of other banks.
We in Northern Ireland now know that a local bank, the First Trust, has been secretly continuing to pay bonuses to senior staff. It emerged in a recent Industrial Tribunal in Belfast that the First Trust (a bank whose parent company, AIB, was bailed out to the tune of €20 billion by Irish taxpayers) has made payments of £3 million to 24 senior staff and that what were described as “special awards” were to be kept confidential.
This behaviour was from a bank that announced 300 job losses in March of this year and a pay freeze for its staff because of its current “economic difficulties”.
Justin O’Hagan, Workers’ Party economic spokesperson, said today: “Only through the democratic control of the banks and the levers of economic policy can there be any hope of a change in the fortunes of working class people. The overnight news from Brussels that the EU intends to take even further control of national budgets and fiscal policy is a clear indication that the only alternative to the present system is through socialist ownership of the means of production, distribution, and exchange.”