Reckless bankers could face jail time in the UK

The British government says bankers who recklessly mismanage their banks could face jail time, according to a new proposal released Wednesday.

Bankers in the UK who recklessly mismanage their banks could face jail time, according to a new report released Wednesday. Here's Reuters with the details:

The parliamentary commission on banking standards... said on Wednesday the law should be changed so that bankers found guilty of "reckless misconduct in the management of a bank" could face jail.

The UK Treasury said the new rules could be in place before the end of 2015 but lawyers said it would be hard to prove when a banker had taken too much risk or simply made a mistake.

The commission also recommended a new pay code to better balance risk and reward, with bonuses deferred for up to ten years with the aim of preventing bankers taking risks for short term reward, one of the factors blamed for the crisis.

It also proposed that the UK financial regulator would be granted a new power enabling it to cancel all bonuses and pension rights not yet paid out to senior executives in the event of their banks needing taxpayer support.

"We were set up to look at the issues of standards and culture, and I think that the standards are abysmally low and the culture is rotten," says John McFall, a member of the Upper House of Parliament who was an author on the report. "Something has to change."

To hear more about the U.K.'s new banking proposal, click on the audio player above.

About the author

Stephen Beard is the London Bureau Chief, providing daily coverage of Europe’s business and economic developments for the entire Marketplace portfolio.


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