Sunday, March 6, 2011

Alistair Darling Makes the Case for Current Asset-Level Disclosure

In an article in the Telegraph discussing the lessons learned from the collapse of RBS,  former chancellor Alistair Darling makes the case for why globally, financial institutions should be required to disclose current asset-level data.

As regular readers of this blog know, disclosure of current asset-level data is the only way for both regulators and market participants to know how healthy a bank is.
... The FSA did not have "proper processes", according to one former senior Treasury adviser interviewed by the Telegraph, who also criticised Bank of England Governor Mervyn King for a lack of knowledge of the banking sector. 
"One of the things that was a real problem was that neither the FSA nor the Bank nor any of their American or European counterparts could pull out a file and say "here's a health check on such-and-such a bank",' Mr Darling said. 
"It did surprise me. But looking back now three years later what is equally surprising is that there wasn't a sheet that could be pulled out by RBS. 
A major problem at RBS was the lack of internal integration of reporting systems and former managers said that it was often difficult to get a handle on the risk the bank was taking. An internal ABN report in February 2008 revealed major problems with RBS's rushed integration plans. 
Mr Darling said: "The answer to the question can and should the regulators have known more then the answer has to be yes. 
"How can it be otherwise? One of the things that does worry me is our capacity to know and understand a very large global bank and what it is doing. Not just here but everywhere else."

No comments: