A warning from the Bank of England that Johnson’s manifesto busting hikes in interest rates is significant enough to effect monetary policy. Well you can’t say he hasn’t been warned but he doesn’t seem interested in taking advice. Seriously though what are personal credit markets supposed to do when the government is deliberately making everyone poorer, particularly those who are already struggling, and at the same time suffocating growth and dampening enthusiasm all at the same time. If we carry on like this nobody in the UK will be able to afford to live at all let alone pay down debt. I predict a collapse in Conservative Party grass roots support.
So what has this got to do with lending? Auditors Grant Thornton are being fined by the accounting regulator over their failure to produce audited accounts which truly reflected the financial state of the business. A clean audit report is an absolute must for bankers and anyone else trying to rely on the accounts but if the bankers don’t understand the numbers anyway, what’s the point? In PV’s case a cursory look into the stock turnover ratio should have raised eyebrows. But wait a minute, qualified accountants didn’t think anything of it either? How on earth are we training accountants and bankers? The same inevitability surrounded government contractor Carillon where simple analysis could have saved taxpayers a lot of money. I see that nobody has been charged. Would be interesting to know if anyone has been sacked? Doesn’t anyone ever ask questions these days? Judging by Archegos and Greensill the answer would seem to be no.
I don’t know the people concerned but I am always interested when a large organisation makes sweeping changes. In BofA’s case I followed the appalling transition from what was once the largest bank in the world to become a subsidiary of a small regional bank in the late 1980’s. I can tell you that hubris and politics had a lot to do with it. In 1980 a colleague and I both senior AVP’s at BofA were sent on an orientation course to San Francisco. The mood music at the time was that the bank was struggling to sort it’s management out. When we reported back to London that all was not well in California. Both of us were pulled in front of Personnel (HR now) to explain why we were being negative. We were effectively silenced. I didn’t get out of BofA and the banking business, until some 8 years later but by then things had got a lot worse. I remember being told at a breakfast meeting in London that management was not the problem. This was a lie. It was at the heart of it.
Howard Tolman is a well-known banker, technologist and entrepreneur in London,
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