New rules making senior bankers in Britain accountable for their actions will be introduced soon and applied broadly to help quell public anger towards the sector, financial services minister Andrea Leadsom said.
Lawmakers called for the new rules, known as the senior persons regime, after few bankers were punished following taxpayer bailouts of UK lenders in the 2007-09 financial crisis.
Bankers’ job responsibilities would be explicitly laid out and any failure to meet them could lead to intervention by regulators.
“It’s imminent,” Leadsom said.
“My view is that I want it to happen as quickly as possible as I think a key part of rebuilding trust in banking has to be that... individuals within banks are seen to be accountable.”
Bankers warn the change will make recruitment harder, but Leadsom said the reform was not about “finding scapegoats” and should not be delayed because some don’t like accountability.
“It’s perfectly possible an individual might want to decide they don’t want to be in that role anymore and so we need to take that into account. It won’t be overnight,” Leadsom said, indicating transitional arrangements.
Regulators have indicated differing views on which bankers should come under the net.
“There is no doubt there is still rage amongst the public about the fact that there is a sense the bankers brought the economy to its knees and got away with it,” said Leadsom.