Bankers must act “as if they have something to lose”, Lord Myners claims

10 March 2010

Bankers and finance industry professionals must start behaving “as if they have something to lose” if reform within the industry is to work, the financial services minister has claimed.

Lord Myners made the comments while giving a speech at the Smith Institute in London.

Market discipline must be enforced more stringently if lessons are to be learnt and similar financial crises to be avoided in the future, the minister stated.

He explained: “We are serious about removing the safety net that has allowed those with blind faith in market efficiency to ignore the consequences of their lack of discipline ... Far too many bankers themselves have enjoyed massive awards during the crisis, even as their firms were rescued.”

Lord Myners added that the UK is working with the International Monetary Fund and members of the G20 to discuss the potential efficiency of an international levy on global financial firms.

Meanwhile, the minister also called for changes to be made to rules surrounding takeover bids in the City.

He was quoted by the Press Association as saying that acquisitions “frequently fail to deliver on promises and allow no voice for other stakeholders, including employees and key customers and suppliers”.

His comments follow news that the City takeover panel is to investigate claims that Kraft deliberately misled Cadbury employees during the recent acquisition.

By Jim Ottewill

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