/ Barclays Bank

This topic has been archived, and won't accept reply postings.
Blizzard - on 12 Feb 2013
They are apologizing on Channel 4 right now. So F**king what. An apology doesnt change anything, nor the behaviour of Corporate Corruption. Corporations like this and Starbucks, make me sick. Any CEO can come and spout shite on TV and think everything is alright. You cant change being a greedy B@stard.

Apologies for the rant, but Banks do make me angry.
BigBrother - on 12 Feb 2013
In reply to Blizzard: What are they apologising for?
dissonance - on 12 Feb 2013
In reply to Blizzard:
> They are apologizing on Channel 4 right now. So F**king what. An apology doesnt change anything, nor the behaviour of Corporate Corruption.

as fun as it is to bash them arent they backing it up with action in this case? Namely shutting down their tax avoidance unit among other things?

andy - on 12 Feb 2013
In reply to dissonance: And he is presumably not Bob Diamond so not the CEO who presided over whatever it is he's apologising for?

PS They all eat babies as well
TheDrunkenBakers - on 12 Feb 2013
In reply to andy:
> (In reply to dissonance) And he is presumably not Bob Diamond so not the CEO who presided over whatever it is he's apologising for?
>
> PS They all eat babies as well

Tastes like suckling pig.

dissonance - on 12 Feb 2013
In reply to andy:

> PS They all eat babies as well

thats what they think, more likely to be horse.
Philip on 12 Feb 2013
In reply to Blizzard:

Perhaps you should have heard him on Radio 4.
John_Hat - on 12 Feb 2013
In reply to Blizzard:
>
> Apologies for the rant, but Banks do make me angry.

Quite.

Why?
Sam_in_Leeds - on 12 Feb 2013
In reply to dissonance:

And didn't they go cap-in-hand to the Arabs instead of taking HM Treasury Bailout money unlike RBS?

Altho they have benefited from BoE measures such as QE and funding for lending etc.
Wiley Coyote - on 13 Feb 2013
In reply to Blizzard:

I'm probably in a minority on here but I really don't see why people should apologise for tax avoidance, which is perfectly legal (as opposed to tax evasion, which is illegal). The Govt makes the rules and you have to abide by them and that's as far as you need to go.
Once you start saying that the law is not actually what's written down in the statute book and passed by Parliament but instead is some arbitrary version of it dreamed up by the Govt or, worse still, the Mob you are on a very slippery slope indeed.
The govt has financial and legal experts to frame the laws and gets a chance to redraft them at least every Budget and in between if it so wishes. It is no use their claiming that the rules they themselves drew up do not say what they thought they meant or complaining that their own incompetence means they are not having the desired effect.
Baron Weasel - on 13 Feb 2013
In reply to Wiley Coyote:

Wunch of bankers!
stroppygob - on 13 Feb 2013
In reply to Blizzard: I fancy a quick Barcleys. But I'm at work.
jayme - on 13 Feb 2013
In reply to stroppygob:
> (In reply to Blizzard) I fancy a quick Barcleys. But I'm at work.

Why would that stop you?
Dauphin - on 13 Feb 2013
In reply to Wiley Coyote:

The bit missing from your point which I entirely agree with is that you fail to point out the effect of lobbyists and er paid and unpaid 'advisers' from the financial services sector in H.M. treasury, BOE etc who influence law an policy to their favour - effectively writing the law themselves. The banking sector and politicians of all hues seem unwilling to discuss this.

D
John_Hat - on 13 Feb 2013
In reply to Wiley Coyote:
> (In reply to Blizzard)
>
> Once you start saying that the law is not actually what's written down in the statute book and passed by Parliament but instead is some arbitrary version of it dreamed up by the Govt or, worse still, the Mob you are on a very slippery slope indeed.

^^Agreed.

However, you're not going to get anywhere bringing reason and sensible comment here. This is a pitchfork and burning torches thread.

:-)
andy - on 13 Feb 2013
In reply to Dauphin:
> (In reply to Wiley Coyote)
>
> The bit missing from your point which I entirely agree with is that you fail to point out the effect of lobbyists and er paid and unpaid 'advisers' from the financial services sector in H.M. treasury, BOE etc who influence law an policy to their favour - effectively writing the law themselves. The banking sector and politicians of all hues seem unwilling to discuss this.
>
> D

You spent much time with HMT and the FSA recently? That might have been how it was years ago, but I can assure you it's a lot harder to influence government nowadays (if indeed it ever was "easy"). Every industry lobbies (look at the energy companies, food industry, farmers etc), but to suggest the banking industry writes legislation is inaccurate to say the least.

Look at changes to mortgage lending rules over the last ten years - literally billions of pounds of cost added for negligible benefit to the consumer, making it harder to differentiate and almost impossible to innovate - and all because the FSA and some politicians seem to believe the myth that ALL mortgage arrears are caused by irresponsible lending to the poor misled consumer, but then when finance dries up for first-time-buyers you get Vince Cable waving his withered old willy around saying "banks must be MADE to lend!". The same things have happened with SME and Commercial lending - if you think the industry wrote that legislation then it must be getting steamy underneath that tinfoil hat of yours.
dissonance - on 13 Feb 2013
In reply to Wiley Coyote:

> I'm probably in a minority on here but I really don't see why people should apologise for tax avoidance, which is perfectly legal (as opposed to tax evasion, which is illegal).

they can and the "mob" can chose not to shop with them. It is worth noting, of course, that some of those tax avoidance schemes end up being banned.

> The Govt makes the rules and you have to abide by them and that's as far as you need to go.

and then people wonder why we end up with so many laws.

> Once you start saying that the law is not actually what's written down in the statute book and passed by Parliament but instead is some arbitrary version of it dreamed up by the Govt or, worse still, the Mob you are on a very slippery slope indeed.

wahey straight to the slippery slope claim.
Rob Exile Ward on 13 Feb 2013
In reply to dissonance: 'and then people wonder why we end up with so many laws'

We end up with so many laws because governments mostly consist of lawyers, and when your only solution is a hammer every problem looks like a nail.

Politicians are also weak and are easily placed on the back foot by unscrupulous and/or ignorant journalists, and invariably want to be seen to be doing 'something', without thinking through the possible consequences.

And they get away with it because the civil service is feeble and take no responsibility for what they are 'told' to do.

All in all, a bit of a mess.
Wiley Coyote - on 13 Feb 2013
In reply to dissonance:
> (In reply to Wiley Coyote)
>
> [...]
>
It is worth noting, of course, that some of those tax avoidance schemes end up being banned.
>
That's fine. That's the process. Many things that were once legal are now illegal but not retrospectively. Punishing people for doing things that have only since become illegal would be like droppoing a speed limit from 30 to 20 and then prosecuting everyone who went over 20 in the past.
Wiley Coyote - on 13 Feb 2013
In reply to John_Hat:
> (In reply to Wiley Coyote)
> [...]
>

>
> However, you're not going to get anywhere bringing reason and sensible comment here. This is a pitchfork and burning torches thread.
>
True. I'm no fan of bankers. I'd just rather see them eating porridge for the crimes they did commit (LIBOR anyopne?)rather than umble pie for ones they did not.

ads.ukclimbing.com
Postmanpat on 13 Feb 2013
In reply to Rob Exile Ward:
> (In reply to dissonance) 'and then people wonder why we end up with so many laws'
>
> We end up with so many laws because governments mostly consist of lawyers, and when your only solution is a hammer every problem looks like a nail.
>
Whilst agreeing with what you say, surely the root problem is that parliament's primary role is as a legislative body so it feels obliged to create new legislation?
A Longleat Boulderer - on 13 Feb 2013
In reply to dissonance:
> (In reply to Blizzard)
> [...]
>
> as fun as it is to bash them arent they backing it up with action in this case? Namely shutting down their tax avoidance unit among other things?

Why would they do that?

From a legal standpoint it's an obligation of Barclays to their shareholders to keep the tax bill as low as legally possible. This is the only argument surrounding this whole tax avoidance thing with all these companies that is based in law. Something often overlooked.

Forget morals, it's equally possible to argue strongly that taxes themselves are immoral from a philosophical point of view (not that this is the angle I'd take). If we as a collective don't like it and find it immoral... then we must elect a government to do something about it. The fact some groups feel something to be 'immoral' is no reason to stop doing that something. I suppose I could reference various religious groups and homosexuality here along with many other examples should you not be happy with that.

To say that again, Barclays could technically be sued for not to exploiting all the holes that they can find.

This also goes for Starbucks et al.

Worth remembering.
dissonance - on 13 Feb 2013
In reply to A Longleat Boulderer:

> Why would they do that?

give the bloke in charge a ring and ask him but thats what they are doing (whether it is just reorganising so it is done in another team is a different question).
I suspect they think the damage done to the reputation and people choosing to go elsewhere with the business outweighs the benefits.

> From a legal standpoint it's an obligation of Barclays to their shareholders to keep the tax bill as low as legally possible. This is the only argument surrounding this whole tax avoidance thing with all these companies that is based in law. Something often overlooked.

no its not. Their legal obligation is to make money for shareholders.
Now, as Starbucks found out, that is not necessarily the same as keeping the tax bill low since the damage can easily outweigh the benefits.


> Forget morals, it's equally possible to argue strongly that taxes themselves are immoral from a philosophical point of view (not that this is the angle I'd take).

as is paying for anything. excellent time to pop down to barclays for a withdrawal.
Postmanpat on 13 Feb 2013
In reply to dissonance:
> (In reply to A Longleat Boulderer)
>
> [...]
>
> give the bloke in charge a ring and ask him but thats what they are doing (whether it is just reorganising so it is done in another team is a different question).
>
The tax avoidance unit was primarily creating schemes for clients not just for Barclays itself.
A Longleat Boulderer - on 13 Feb 2013
In reply to dissonance:
> (In reply to A Longleat Boulderer)

Sorry, the point of my 'why would they do that' was simply to state that while they may appear to be closing tax avoidance systems... it is smoke and mirrors. Maybe that didn't come across as expected in text.

You said it yourself, keep the public happy, keep the taxes low and you're fulfilling that part of your obligation to shareholders. Do a little jiggling here and there... create a press storm... make a few statements... but remember 'giving your word that you'll sort it out' is not exactly legally binding.

> as is paying for anything. excellent time to pop down to barclays for a withdrawal.

Sorry, don't understand what you mean here. I don't see how it's relevant.
dissonance - on 13 Feb 2013
In reply to Postmanpat:

> The tax avoidance unit was primarily creating schemes for clients not just for Barclays itself.

i know although they were apparently an internal customer as well.
Blizzard - on 13 Feb 2013
In reply to John_Hat:
> (In reply to Blizzard)
> [...]
>
>
> Why?

They make me angry for not having for more ethics and more social responsibility and abusing their positions in society. There are so many other ways society could be run for the betterment of us all than purely opting for the profit motive and greed.
Wiley Coyote - on 13 Feb 2013
In reply to Blizzard:
> (In reply to John_Hat)
> [...]
>
> There are so many other ways society could be run for the betterment of us all than purely opting for the profit motive and greed.

Could they? I mean realistically, not in some fluffy Utopioan ideal where everyone is lovely and works selflessly for the common good? Because, at the risk of sounding like Gordon Gekko in Wall Street, in the real word profits are good.
All the things we need - schools, the NHS, sickness benefits, care of the elderly, the entire Welfare State - are paid from taxes and taxes are only paid on profits. You don't pay tax on losses or even breaking even. Jobs come from profit. You can't employ people if you are not making the profits to pay them and if people are not being paid they don't pay taxes either.
Without profits society as we know it (and it's the only one we've got) doesn't work.
A Longleat Boulderer - on 13 Feb 2013
In reply to Wiley Coyote:

I think he's treating it more as a trade off, a balance, than a Utopia.

That said, I'm with you on this one.

John_Hat - on 13 Feb 2013
In reply to Blizzard:
> (In reply to John_Hat)
> [...]
>
> They make me angry for not having for more ethics and more social responsibility and abusing their positions in society. There are so many other ways society could be run for the betterment of us all than purely opting for the profit motive and greed.

Ah...

OK, when you've persuaded the general public to stop switching ISA providers for 0.01% interest rate differential and remortgaging to the lowest rate possible, and instead for consumers to go to the bank with the best ethical policy even though it costs them money, then banks will be able to operate ethically and with social responsability.

Until then, any bank that is not competitive in the marketplace is toast.

Oh, sorry, you say you want an ethical bank AND rock bottom interest rates on your mortgage/loan AND high rates on your savings? Oh, well, why didn't you say so?
wilding - on 13 Feb 2013
In reply to John_Hat:

Banks like Barclays make me angry because they are Too Big To Fail. TBTF means all sorts of market distortions, and stifles competition. Capitalism is all about improvement and innovation through failure. Remove failure and you don't have capitalism.
dissonance - on 13 Feb 2013
In reply to John_Hat:

> Oh, sorry, you say you want an ethical bank AND rock bottom interest rates on your mortgage/loan AND high rates on your savings? Oh, well, why didn't you say so?

this would be a superb response minus the minor problem that the unethical banks dont deliver those either.
elsewhere on 13 Feb 2013
In reply to John_Hat:
There's a long history of the financial services industry paying fines & compensation for mis-selling.

Private pensions
Endowment Mortgages
PPI loan insurance
Interest rate swaps
Long term & inflexible investments sold to the elderly

Do consumers have to start treating banks like they're a bunch of amoral thieves rather than legitimate businesses?
Wiley Coyote - on 13 Feb 2013
In reply to elsewhere:
> (In reply to John_Hat)

>
> Do consumers have to start treating banks like they're a bunch of amoral thieves rather than legitimate businesses?

I don't know about 'start'. I've always treated them with caution.
GrahamD - on 13 Feb 2013
In reply to Blizzard:

> Corporations like this and Starbucks, make me sick.

Corporations like this are what provide the employment for people in this country.
wilding - on 14 Feb 2013
In reply to Blizzard:

http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/gangster-bankers-too-big-to-jail-20130214

This is why the big banks need to be broken up. It is ridiculous that they cannot be prosecuted because they are too big to fail.

This topic has been archived, and won't accept reply postings.