Barclays is under the cosh again as new chief executive Antony Jenkins takes the helm at a troubled time.
Barclays is under the cosh again. New chief executive Antony Jenkins is taking the helm at a troubled time in the wake of the Libor interest rate fixing scandal and the news that the bank is being investigated by the Serious Fraud Office.
Sympathy and support for the banks is in short supply at the moment, and for this the banks have only themselves to blame, having brought the economy to its knees through their greed and recklessness while the top brass who led the country into this disaster were wallowing in obscene bonuses.
Instead of becoming organisations based on service, they became organisations focussed entirely on making money for themselves. To that end, little local banks across Shropshire and the country generally have been closed.
Stuff the customers and what they think – they will have to travel to larger centres or do their finances on the internet. That is not so easy for the older generation brought up with old fashioned values and who like and expect to deal with actual human beings.
Bank bashing is a topical sport, but we must not lose sight of the fact that the banks, however wicked and irresponsible ordinary people think they have been, are vital wealth generators and the way they act now will be crucial to pump-priming the recovery.
So a balance needs to be struck in which the banking sector is reformed and yet does not have its hands tied so badly that it is incapable of underpinning the recovery and financing the regeneration for which the nation is crying out.
Having seriously lost their way, the banks have a long road back to respectability.
Going back to basics, giving ordinary customers a service and treating them with respect and not as mugs to be fleeced, is the first step to rehabilitation.