Greedy bankers: ECB failing us

DISPLAYS of greed by bankers are hardly a surprise to anyone as every taxpayer in Ireland knows to their cost.

 But the sheer scale of the avarice exhibited by three of the world’s biggest banks — as shown in a case taken by EU regulators — is almost beyond belief.

While JPMorgan, HSBC, and Credit Agricole have been fined a combined €485m for colluding to manipulate the price of financial products linked to interest rates, that figure is likely to represent a fraction of the profits they earned by their illegal activity.

But while the European Commission has succeeded, at least, in punishing the big banks, the European Central Bank continues its lacklustre approach to banking inspections within member states. Figures released yesterday show that only three of the 35 inspections of Irish financial institutions in 2014 were led by the ECB.

That points to either a lack of resources or a lack of commitment to the process by the ECB. Either way, the ECB is failing to implement genuine EU banking supervision.


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