WhenThursday, April 15th from 6pm to 8pm UK time
WhereOnline symposium via Zoom.
FormatThere'll be a great line-up of speakers plus ample scope for discussion and debate.
Some attendees’ testimonies…
“The banks were complicit in the events leading to and causing the GFC. We need evidence.”
“Fraud is at the heart of it and total ruthlessness and depravity!”
“RBS harassed my dying husband and our family, stole our home and put our family in the street penniless whilst declaring in an affidavit that they could not prove the alleged debt”
“RBS GRG is the nightmare of so many SMEs”
“Why is it so hard to get regulators to regulate on these major scandals?”
Why you should attend
London is “at the heart of global financial corruption” and we want to know the role RBS has had in crashing the economy and causing crippling austerity for millions of people in the UK.
Whilst most people are aware of the £45Billlion that UK taxpayers paid to bail out RBS, most people are unaware that at the height of the financial crisis the UK taxpayers support of banks equated to a liability of £1.4Trillion. In fact, there are even some estimates that the real, total long-term effect to the UK economy is well over £3Trillion, hence all the austerity measures that have been taken, characterised by the long-term reductions in funding for services like the NHS and social care. It is a shameful fact that whilst some nurses and police officers have had to resort to food banks to get by, many of the bankers who caused the carnage in the first place continue to enjoy enormous bonuses.
We’re not anti-capitalist; far from it, but we do believe that money should only be earned ethically.
The CEO of RBS, still a state-owned bank earned over £5M in 2019. Some investment bankers and traders, at banks and in the City of London can earn salaries in the tens of millions. Yet the cost of economic crime in the UK is reckoned to be around £55Billion annually. To put that into context it could pay all the NHS staff’s hard-earned wages annually.
And much of this economic crime relates to money laundering through the City Banks, whilst on the watch of the Financial Conduct Authority; the very same Financial Conduct Authority that has, for reasons we struggle to understand, seemed rather reluctant to use the powers given to it by Parliament to actively enforce against misconduct through the Senior Managers Certification Regime.
It’s amazing to think that over 5 years after the Senior Managers Certification Regime was created, it hasn’t resulted in even a single enforcement action. Note that the Financial Conduct Authority’s Press Office have claimed that there has been 1 enforcement, in the case of Jes Staley (CEO of Barclays, for his grotesque handling of a whistleblower situation) but this was actually enforced under the existing Code of Conduct Rules and not under the Senior Managers Certification Regime. One is forced to wonder, therefore, whether the FCA’s reporting was false; and even more importantly why the Senior Managers Certification Regime, the central regulatory response to the catastrophic regulatory failures that enabled the Global Financial Crisis has been made impotent by the financial conduct regulator.
Questions, questions, questions. We’ll keep asking them until we get answers that stack up.
Either there has been no financial malfeasance by senior managers worthy of enforcement action over a more than 5 year period or, the Financial Conduct Authority as a conduct regulator and enforcement body is not fit for purpose. Indeed, former Bank of England Governor Mark Carney in his 2nd December 2020 Reith Memorial Lecture made the point that the single biggest learning point and advance in regulation post the Global Financial Crisis was the imposition of the Senior Managers Certification Regime. Yet it doesn’t seem to have actually been used.
Of course, all of this does not just represent a financial problem. For example, it is widely reported that due to the asset-stripping conduct of RBS-owned Ulster Bank, there have been hundreds and hundreds of builders and property developers who have committed suicide.
It is our firm belief that the kind of bad banker behaviour that has wreaked havoc right around the world and caused serious, long-term financial and personal economic harm to millions, both directly and through austerity measures, will not stop until the senior banking officials responsible are held to account.
Recidivism, i.e. repeated wrong-doing, is a known trait within the financial services and banking sector. If you want to see hard evidence for that claim, take a look at the data here and ask yourself whether the evidence suggests that not only is the banking sector riddled with recidivists but also that the fines imposed are simply seen as “a cost of doing business.”
In short, we are convinced that the data is telling us that there is something seriously wrong in the financial services sector, particularly banking. We believe that the world’s economies and the wellbeing of society will continue to be at risk until there is real, meaningful change. The fact is that no senior banker has been convicted of criminal behaviour in the UK despite their roles in almost destroying the economy and creating over 10 years of hardship for many.
Bankers will never be brought to account however, until persons with integrity within the banking industry are able to speak up about the crimes they have witnessed with impunity. It is a sad fact that many significant whistle-blowers in recent years have faced years of bullying and harassment, been hounded out of their jobs, faced debilitating mental illness due to their treatment and many face or have undergone financial ruin, for having the courage and integrity to tell the truth.
This is a particularly important Transparency Task Force symposium. We’re going to delve right into the heart of the problem; a problem summed up so well by Roberto Saviano, the courageous anti-mafia journalist who famously said “London is the heart of global financial corruption.”
And we’re going to be doing this by focusing on a particularly important matter; the RBS scandal, as seen by Mark Wright. Mark worked for Natwest/RBS for 25 years. He was successful and enjoyed his job but he made the “fatal mistake” in Whistle-Blowing the wrong subject to Senior Executives in the Public’s interest. Mark has been living with the consequences of doing the right thing ever since.
TTF is supporting this brave underdog, in the firm belief that a victory would be one of the greatest comebacks of all time in one of most important “battles for the truth” in UK financial services history.
For boxing fans, think Ali v Foreman, Zaire, October 30th 1974. “The bell to start round 8” is going to be rung at our symposium. That’s when, hopefully, what must be one of the greatest comebacks in UK financial services in the battle for truth and justice is going to begin.
Be sure to “book your ringside seat” …and be cheering for “the little guy in the right, Mr Mark Wright.”
Whether he wins or loses, Mark already has TTF’s utmost respect for having the guts to “get in the ring” and face a monstrous opponent that’s going to do all it can to destroy him. Remember, his only “crime” was to “stand up and not stand by;” and to speak truth to power.
Please join us in backing Mark Wright all the way. His case could have a positive ripple-effect into many areas where the financial sector is letting society down.
Here's the programme and timings so far...
Welcome to the symposium, introductions and initial exploration of the main issues; by
Founder, Transparency Task Force; Governor, Pensions Policy Institute; Chair, Secretariat Committee, APPG on Pension Scams; Chair, Secretariat Committee, APPG on Personal Banking and Fairer Financial Services
Presentation #1, for 35 minutes + 10 minutes discussion/Q&A
Director, Briar Grove Developments Ltd
Sales at Orianna Investments Ltd, Armstrong Gordon
Presentation #2, for 10 minutes + 5 minutes Q&A/Discussion by
Author, Journalist, Broadcaster
Presentation #3, for 10 minutes + 5 minutes Q&A/Discussion by
FX & Financial Markets & Banking Consultant
The “Just a minute”-round
Inspired by the BBC Radio 4 programme, we have asked a selection of our attendees to spend just a minute sharing their thoughts on what has been covered during the symposium. But unlike the Radio 4 programme our speakers won’t be penalised for hesitation, repetition or deviation!
Director, Tentacle Ltd
Partner, OMS LLP
General discussion and Q&A, 20 minutes
Final conclusions; and suggested next steps and close to the formal proceedings.
However, for those that want it…
8:00pm BST until 108:30pm BST
….informal, unstructured networking and informal conversation; a “fireside chat”
*The programme will continuously evolve so is subject to change.