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Bankers unite against Barack Obama and Gordon Brown in call for world regulation

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London Evening Standard
Wednesday, January 27th, 2010

Bankers stood shoulder-to-shoulder at the Swiss ski resort of Davos to try to prevent a scatter-gun approach to new financial regulation by different countries.

They united against Barack Obama’s threat to break up banks and Gordon Brown’s growing enthusiasm for a Tobin tax on all financial market transactions.

The Standard Chartered chief executive, Peter Sands, warned against over-regulating the private sector and stifling economic recovery. “The stakes are very high,” he said. “If we get it wrong in one dimension, we will end up stifling growth. If we get it wrong in the other dimension we end up with another crisis.

“The idea that banking is getting back to business as usual is a misunderstanding. Banking has fundamentally changed. There is an acceptance that things will have to continue to change.”

Barclays Capital boss Bob Diamond warned that threats from the US President and moves from the Prime Minister such as the bankers’ bonus tax were damaging. “This is a time when isolated actions in the US and UK are not beneficial,” he said. “Without risk we do not have a banking industry. Having banks willing to take risks, particularly cross-border risk is essential to economics.”

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This article was posted: Wednesday, January 27, 2010 at 10:29 am





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