The costs of gross misconduct by leading banks, including RBS and Lloyds, have been estimated by LSE research at £130bn in the 6 years to the end of 2013. That is significantly more than Britain’s total budget deficit (£111bn) and substantially more than the international aid budget supplied by the 24 richest countries (£80bn). More too than the NHS budget in a year (up to £110bn).
However, these fines can also be seen in a different light. Against the profit these 10 major banking institutions have made in the last 6 years, the fines make a significant dent, but they are not crippling. Indeed it has been argued that the manipulation of a global interest rate, to the banks’ own benefit, where several trillion dollars’ worth of assets are priced to it, deserves a much more punitive penalty, partly because of the enormity of the crime and partly as a warning to others that this should never be tried again. Continue reading