Some criminals are irreformable.
Six big banks were hit with almost £2.7 billion in fines last week after City slickers were caught trying to rig foreign exchange rates.
A coterie of City traders had just pulled off a handsome deal, and they weren’t slow to brag about it. “We f**king killed it,” one dealer proclaimed on an internet chatroom. “I don my hat, well done lads,” said another.
Investigations found traders at different banks formed tight knit groups, with names such as “the A Team”, where they shared sensitive details about clients.
But this is not about rogue traders.
HSBC and Royal Bank of Scotland were among those penalised by regulators on both sides of the Atlantic.
And the total is expected to break £3 billion, with Barclays braced for a £500 million punishment.
Regulators slammed the banks for allowing a “free-for-all” culture where traders tried to rig rates on the £3.5 trillion a day foreign exchange market.
In Britain, the Financial Conduct Authority hit five banks—RBS, HSBC, Citibank, UBS and JP Morgan Chase - with a record £1.1 billion in fines.
The main US regulator hit them with a £900 million penalty.
The reality is the banks keep taking and we keep giving. They are serial offenders
Britain’s Serious Fraud Office has launched an investigation into the scandal.
Don’t hold your breath.
Downing Street bake off
Downing Street staff recreated the Great British Bake Off with civil service boss Sir Jeremy Heywood playing the role of Mary Berry.
Business adviser Daniel Korski’s entry was a cake emblazoned with the Tory logo.
It lost out to the gingerbread reconstruction of No10 by the PM’s spin doctor, Alan Sendorek.
Returning to ermine
Tony Benn’s son Stephen has reclaimed his father’s Viscount title, so he can sit in the Lords as a Labour hereditary peer.
It is nice that a political lobbyist can get to make laws.
Even nicer that Labour still sends hereditary peers to the Lords.
Spooks go mad at political correctnesh
The Pig and Eye club is both the most elusive and exclusive of London drinking dens.
The MI5 bar has apparently been forced to change its name because of political correctness.
It was originally set up by spies during the Cold War in their then-headquarters on Curzon Street.
The Pig and Eye was a place where secret agents could meet over a drink without risk of being overheard.
The secret den moved with the security service to Millbank when they relocated there in 1995.
They share Thames House with the Joint Terrorism Analysis Centre–which houses staff seconded from 16 government departments and agencies including the police.
It’s now simply called “the Eye club”, amid fears that the term pig could upset the in-house police.
Think Fifa is corrupt all over? It is now
In a shocking development, an organisation in charge of making global deals worth billions of pounds and only subject to the laws of a tiny tax haven turns out to be deeply corrupt.
World football body Fifa essentially stuck its fingers in its ears and went “la la la we can’t hear you” last week.
Its summary of an internal investigation described its handling of recent World Cup bids as “well-thought, robust and professional”.
It acknowledged there had been “various incidents” but insisted they didn’t mean very much.
Fifa’s own investigators and whistleblowers were understandably rather miffed.
But it didn’t compare to the self-righteous huffing and puffing from top figures in Britain’s FA and Europe’s Uefa.
Which is odd, when you consider that the FA was also found falling over itself to meet “improper requests” from Fifa officials.
Cashing in on asylum seekers
Supermarkets have raked in £44 million from Home Office prepayment cards designed to help asylum seekers buy food and clothes.
The Azure cards are topped up with £35.39 a week for use in 15 specified retailers including Tesco, Asda, Sainsbury’s, and Morrisons.
More than £20.6 million was spent at Tesco.
The scheme costs £1.5 million-a-year to administrate.
The Tories have threatened to extend the scheme to benefit claiments.
Six weeks in jail for choc theft
A man with severe mental health problems who stole 15 Toblerones from Poundland in Chester has been jailed.
Christopher Welsh was jailed for six weeks.
Magistrates said his shoplifting “costs businesses” and could result in the loss of “valuable community assets”.
Welsh, who lives in sheltered accommodation, was in breach of a two-month suspended sentence for shoplifting offences, including stealing razors and cosmetics.
He has been under the care of mental health services for the past 25 years. His conditions has worsened in recent years after the death of his partner.