Wednesday, June 27, 2012

As a result of the Libor scandal, will Barclay's recognize only providing ultra transparency will restore its credibility?

In his Wall Street Journal Heard on the Street column, Simon Nixon observed
Barclays can live with the fine, but damage to the bank's reputation and that of its top management, none of whom has resigned, could be lasting. 
Barclays says many of those directly responsible now have left the bank. Some employees may yet face disciplinary and even criminal proceedings, according to people briefed on the situation. 
The bank says top managers were unaware of the abuses, cooperated fully with the investigation, settled quickly and have introduced new processes to prevent this from happening again.....
But this isn't good enough. The regulatory documents show that, at best, Mr. Diamond and his team presided over a culture of sloppiness, greed and a lack of concern for clients' interests. At worst, employees' behavior flirted with criminality. 
For all Mr. Diamond's recent homilies about "citizenship," investors will wonder whether an unchanged top team is really best-placed to restore the confidence of clients and regulators....
Certainly, [the Libor scandal] threatens to further undermine public confidence in the investment-banking industry at a time when its business model and ingrained conflicts of interest are under unprecedented scrutiny. 
The scandal also threatens to do further damage to the reputation of London as a financial center. The Barclays settlement comes just days after a U.S. senator publicly noted how many boom-time scandals originated in London. 
All the more reason why Barclays should show real citizenship by taking the sort of action that might signal the world it truly understands the gravity of this scandal.
Regular readers know that there is only one way for Barclays to restore its credibility after it confessed to manipulating one of the key market interest rates to the detriment of investors and borrowers.

Restoring credibility and trust can only be achieved by voluntarily providing ultra transparency and disclosing on an on-going basis its current asset, liability and off-balance sheet exposure details.

It is only with this data that market participants can confirm that Barclays is not trying to manipulate Libor again.

It is only with this data that Barclays can show that it is a good citizen and is focused on supporting the real economy and not operating a casino.

It is only by providing this data that Barclays can hope to restore the confidence of clients, regulators and investors.  

The failure to provide this data is an announcement that Barclays has something to hide and should not be trusted.

I look forward to talking with Mr. Diamond shortly and working with Barclays as it steps up to show real citizenship and leadership in the City by providing ultra transparency.

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