Nasty bankers

This (see http://www.isleofman.com/News/details/72334/students-invited-to-join-the-award-winning-lloyds-scholars-programme- ) is the kind of divine comedy that is only possible on the Isle of Man. Here we often get Education Ministers who have difficulty counting past ten or spelling their own names, while the biggest, most corrupt banks avoid government censure simply by threatening to shut up shop if a civil servant points out their crimes.

Not that many do, because there is a rapidly revolving door between the Financial Supervision Commission and the Finance Sector.

The favoured technique amongst finance career whores is to pull family strings to land a comfy apprenticeship with a bank or government, have your employer pay your way through professional exams, then switch sides and keep doing so every time one or the other faces cutbacks or change.

The government excuse is that people with industry experience have a practical understanding of the issues. The industry needs no excuse. During routine consultations and inspections the big players openly head-hunt those civil servants who are charged with closing loopholes (so gaining staff who know how to sidestep them), and in return the civil servants airbrush away infringements in order to take up the offer at a mutually convenient moment.

In this particular comedy we have a bank which only remained in business because the UK government was forced to rescue it after all its executives either screwed up or got caught mid-fraud. In this dubious ‘offer’ it invites the students with the lowest chance of even surviving courses at the UK’s most outrageously overpriced universities to volunteer for bogus community projects calculated to draw attention away from the bank’s most venal behaviour. In return it vaguely offers low paid ‘work experience’ of a kind any FE college already sets up, free, for students on foundation level business courses, and also a mentor scheme.

A business mentor? From Lloyds? That would be like asking a drug dealer to get you off smack.

The fate of those who take up this offer and fail – as most will – would be similar to businesses who trusted Lloyds to help them through difficult times of the four large banks’ own making, only for the bank staff to plot the bankruptcy and acquisition of your business while you were busy working all hours of the day just to keep paying off the loans whose interest rates they doubled without bothering to tell you.

You just could not make this crap up. Not unless you were a banker….. or a civil servant. And you certainly would not fall for it……unless you were a government minister.

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