Research Handbooks in Financial Law series
Edited by Barry Rider
Chapter 3: Financial crime: a historical perspective
In recent decades the financial sectors of Australia, the UK, the US and indeed most countries have not enjoyed great popularity with the broader community as the repercussions of the Global Financial Crisis (GFC) continue to unwind and scandals roll across the front pages of newspapers and television screens with depressing regularity. For example in the UK, the mis-selling of pensions scandal in the 1980s and early 1990s, when UK regulatory authorities acknowledged that as many as 1,500,000 people may have been wrongly advised to withdraw from company pension schemes by insurance companies and financial advisers. And guess what? In eerily similar contexts, through 2012 and 2013 it became increasingly clear that systematic payment protection insurance mis-selling had been undertaken by UK banks for many years, showing how little they had learnt (cared?) about the lessons of the pensions mis-selling scandal twenty years earlier. Since the latest mis-selling scandal was exposed, UK banks have set aside more than £12 billion to cover compensation to their customers for mis-selling them payment protection insurance; Lloyds Banking Group alone has set aside £5.3 billion. For a London based financial sector scandal which has global implications it is hard to escape the ongoing investigations and potential future prosecutions by regulatory authorities surrounding systematic manipulation of the London Interbank Offered Rate (Libor).
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