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Who should we fill the prisons up with? Bankers or rapists?

(27 Posts)
Basketofchocolate Wed 19-Jun-13 17:40:27

Am just a bit 'grrr' at the news today.

Some high profile men who are being charged with sexual assault and rape right now are not getting much of a sentence, but the government want to start giving prison sentences to bankers??????

Madness, surely? I thought the prisons were full and that's why people are being released who then go and commit a heinous crime almost immediately (think there was once of those this week too?).

Surely banking will suddenly be a career option that youngsters avoid?

Maybe am missing something.

Guidelines, yes, more controls, checks, yes, but prison??


TheCrackFox Wed 19-Jun-13 17:53:26

Seems quite sensible to me. If you cost the tax payer £50 billion because of complete incompetence and greed it seeems fair enough.

DeathByTray Wed 19-Jun-13 17:57:00

There is no need for youngsters to be put off a career in banking.

They only need to be put off a career of incompetence and greed.

Moominsarehippos Wed 19-Jun-13 18:07:10

They do it for glory and greed. Not because of incompetance. They know what they are doing and its a calculated risk - but what's the risk? Unless there is a proper punishment (not just you get kicked out with a large pay off, and some chum employs you later) then the unscrupulous will carry on. If it was another industry, the police would be called in. Why not banking?

AmberLeaf Wed 19-Jun-13 18:13:36

Why not?

They send women/mothers to prison for comparatively minor financial fraud, prisons have lots of women prisoners like that, so why not the rich bankers too?

Prisons aren't full though and there are all sorts of reasons for the re offending rates.

Basketofchocolate Wed 19-Jun-13 18:50:29

But is the risk taking not part of their job description?

Surely sometimes the risk pays off and makes money?

I guess am just struggling to see how doing your job is a crime that should get 'time'. I understand the analogy that if you were a driver but drove when you were tired/drunk then that would be a bad risk that you had taken. If you hurt/killed someone doing that, then you could be prosecuted because of your crime towards another person but surely your firm would only be able to fine you? And that would be if you took someone else's life?

Am just confused about it all really. I don't fully understand the investment side of banking. I do get the difference between the demonised 'bankers' and those who work in the retail sector of the high street banks and know they are not going to be covered by this.

Moominsarehippos Wed 19-Jun-13 19:05:48

These aren't the 'risk' guys. These are the business heads - the supposed 'safe hands'. Remember, they also hold peoples' jobs in their hands too. If to take a massive gamble, knowing that the risk to you is small, but lose thereby losing a fortune and lots of staff being laid off, then you are either reckless or incompetant.

Plus remember the LIBOR hooha? That wasn't a gamble, that was deliberate manipulation. Or the bank that 'bet' on a duff product they were selling (I forget the facts on that one). Not a 'gamble' but more like fraud.

edam Wed 19-Jun-13 19:46:51

People like this could go to prison under the reccommendations of the report today. Well, he could have done if they had been in force back in 2008. People who have cost everyone else in the country £955bn originally - the bill was standing at £124bn in Dec 2010 (I think) according to the National Audit Office, no idea what it is now or what it will be next year or the year after.

People who take stupid risks, are cavalier with other people's money, who recruit and train and demand their employees are cavalier with other people's money... I think they should be made to face the consequences of their actions. And the rot spreads far wider than Fred Goodwin - the author of today's report was on Channel 4 news just now agreeing that the industry is morally corrupt and has been morally corrupt for decades.

Scandal after scandal after scandal - if it isn't Libor it's ten other ways of rigging the markets, if it's not mis-selling pensions it's mis-selling PPI or endowments or products that claimed to protect small businesses against interest rate rises, or dozens of other products - the cancer goes right through the financial services industry, from investment banking to retail banking to everything.

tribpot Wed 19-Jun-13 19:51:40

Other deterrents don't seem to be working, do they?

Basketofchocolate Wed 19-Jun-13 20:22:40

But are they crimes or just morally wrong?

Bullying in the workplace is morally wrong, but it isn't a crime usually is it?

tribpot Wed 19-Jun-13 20:25:57

So are you suggesting we would be sending bankers to prison who had not been convicted of a crime?! Or do you think their crimes are not morally wrong?

NiceTabard Wed 19-Jun-13 20:36:17

Given a choice between incarcerating a serial rapist or a serial financial fraudster I would imprison the rapist.

Is this the way it's going to work though - is there an idea that sentences for rapists will be (even more) lenient to free up room for bankers?

And if it's just the top bods facing jail that's not actually that many people is it.

NiceTabard Wed 19-Jun-13 20:37:55

Many of the things the bankers have done, were illegal. So perfectly reasonable to prosecute them.

Basketofchocolate Wed 19-Jun-13 20:56:31

If they are committing actual crimes, then fair enough. It just seemed that the government might be after votes as the 'bankers' seem to be a topic that people on the street love to hate and blame.

I am not really aware of what their jobs really involve and the environments they work in, so am on the fence as to what's right or wrong about it. It just seemed a bit harsh.

tribpot Wed 19-Jun-13 21:14:27

So did you think the government was proposing to send people to prison who had not been found guilty of crimes? As a vote-winner?

LoveSewingBee Wed 19-Jun-13 21:41:20

Totally agree with Edam

Basketofchocolate Wed 19-Jun-13 22:04:03

tribpot - just wondering if they were looking to do something about perceived baddies as a votes winner. As a voter, am not sure if these people did/will commit actual crimes that I would think were bad enough to be imprisoned for.

Should prob not just think out loud on MN.

I sometimes feel that the public have a big disconnect between wanting free banking, zero interest rates, cheap insurance and low mortgages and the mess our financial service companies are in. I am, of course, guilty of wanting all those things, even though I do have some understanding of the impact. Do our demands for free services, for compensation for small errors, etc lead to the risky behaviour? I am not saying they are faultless in their behaviour, just that I, personally, felt a bit weird when I heard the news, that perhaps this was all going too far.

I think I need to find out more.

edam Wed 19-Jun-13 23:00:55

I'm not sure how you can blame the public for fiddling the Libor rate. Or mis-selling pensions or endowments or 1001 other products.

Or for RBS fucking up and ruining a small business, then forcing the small business owner to sell his house, then for stealing the money from the house sale, then finally when forced to admit they had not been terribly straighforward STILL hanging onto the money they had stolen - one of the cases covered in today's report. The poor sods involved have still not got their money back.

We do need more honesty and transparency in pricing - the hidden costs of the 'free' bank account should be stated, clearly. (Hey, we'll take five days to clear a payment! It's mysteriously gone from the account of the person who is paying you, and it won't crop in your account for days, but don't worry about it! Hey, we'll charge you for the account but call it something else! Hey, we'll charge you for the account but say it includes free travel and mobile insurance -except when you try to claim, you'll discover you can't!)

EvenEducatedFleasDoIt Wed 19-Jun-13 23:33:21

Well, generally yes we are locking up people who present little or no risk to the public, but allowing thieves and fraudsters get away with bonuses. Trouble is that politicos have no gumption to face up to corruption as there is a commonly-experienced pot they all piss in. Unfortunately.

AmberSocks Thu 20-Jun-13 16:11:46

Personally i dont think anyone should go to prison if they are not a danger to society,punishment in other forms yes,but there are not enough prisons spaces or money to put bankers in there.

Bankers are not on the same level as rapists and paedos in my opinion.

NiceTabard Thu 20-Jun-13 18:53:38

thing is that the actions of some of the bankers impacted society in such a way that many people have been enormously negatively impacted in a huge number of ways. Much real actual harm has been done as a result of their actions - just because they didn't personally wield the knife or take the possessions doesn't mean no harm has been done IYSWIM.

Chubfuddler Thu 20-Jun-13 18:55:05

It's not really an either/or though is it? We could jail rapists and fraudsters. Works for me.

mercibucket Thu 20-Jun-13 19:03:23


i dont think it is an either/or

how about they both go? btw i dont think the government means every banker just the corrupt ones

NiceTabard Thu 20-Jun-13 19:07:27

The numbers of bankers who might be prosecuted for this type of thing is very low compared to the amounts of people being done for other crimes.

i can't see a problem with prosecuting them at all.

NiceTabard Thu 20-Jun-13 19:07:57

I mean it'd be a handful wouldn't it.
Nothing in the scheme of things.

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