With the British public’s opinion of the major high street banks in the gutter, it’s rather unsurprising that they are doing their best to change their image. If anything, it’s shocking that is has taken this long and there have been so many scandals that not much surprises the public anymore.
Since the beginning of the recession, which most people blame the banks for, the banker’s bonuses have continued to be huge. Much of the public believes that the banks have played little part in helping the economy to recover. It’s been revealed that they’ve committed fraud and they’ve been bailed out with taxpayers’ money and finally, after more than four years, they are showing signs that they want to clean up their image.
It all started with the resignation of Bob Diamond from Barclays earlier in the year, but now his replacement is claiming that the bank will change from its old ways and becoming a legitimate business that does not bolster its profits by ripping people off illegally. He has now been joined by the chief executive of Deutsche Bank, one of the firms implicated in the Libor fixing scandal.
The crux of their speeches appeared to be that shareholders have had enough and that the banks need to change their attitude. The shareholder meetings held a few months ago saw big rebellions against the top executives at some of Britain’s largest banks as people threatened to deny the highest paid members their bonuses.
How will they change? Well, one of the points made by Anshu Jain of Deutsche Bank is that bonuses need to be brought under control, and he wants his bank to lead the way. Both banks are setting up commissions to work out what is a fairer pay scale for their employees.
This is only one of the reasons that people don’t trust the banks, and more changes, such as fairer rates for savers and borrowers, will be needed if they want to get back into the public’s favour.