Why haven’t bankers been prosecuted? asks Jon Snow

Sep 13, 2011
Tim Edwards

Channel 4 News anchor ambushes City minister expecting to be questioned on banking reform

AS BANKERS complain about the £4bn-£7bn cost to their sector of the reforms proposed by Sir John Vickers, at least one person appears to think they have gotten off rather lightly. Channel 4 News presenter Jon Snow used an interview with the City minister Mark Hoban last night to ask why no bankers have yet been prosecuted for their part in the financial crisis.  

If Hoban was expecting to play the populist part of 'banker basher' by taking his government's line of supporting Vickers's banking reforms, he was severely disappointed, because Snow swiftly moved the goalposts, suggesting it is time to throw some City boys in jail.

"Why hasn't a single banker been prosecuted yet? You've been in power for over a year. It's now three years since 2008. Why isn't one of them in jail?" Snow asked.

Hoban refused to be drawn on the question, saying only that the Financial Services Authority is "looking at some of the issues around management of these banks".

Snow replied: "But I asked you about prosecutions minister, prosecutions. In America, bankers are being prosecuted, the Attorney General for New York has a great laundry list of people that he's after.

"I haven't seen a single name that you want arrested or tested or questioned, not one of them, no one has been held to account, not one."

Observing that the FSA probe is three years old, he asked: "When is this going to end?"

Hoban stammered throughout the interview, clearly at a loss.

Today, Snow followed up his grilling with a blog post in which he points out: "Investigators on both sides of the Atlantic have had no doubt that criminality, subterfuge, and downright dishonesty accompanied many of the ingredients that brought about the crash. At the very least there was gross dishonesty in the representation of exposure to the sub-prime mortgage business.

"Soon enough the statute of limitations will kick in to ensure that no-one will ever be prosecuted for their role."

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