HSBC's Green says banks and bankers should apologise

HSBC CHAIRMAN Stephen Green yesterday said that the entire banking sector &ldquo;owes the real world an apology&rdquo;.<br /><br />Green said that while the world cannot do without banks &ndash; bankers need to learn the lessons of the financial crisis that has shaken the world&rsquo;s economy.<br /><br />In an interview with BBC Worldwide, Green said: &ldquo;I think the change in the public perception of the industry is entirely understandable. The banking industry has not covered itself in glory to say the least, and indeed the industry collectively owes the real world an apology for what has happened.&rdquo;<br /><br />His comments came just after a day after declaring he believed the worst of the economic crisis was over, conflicting with HSBC&rsquo;s chief executive Michael Geoghegan who said he expected a second downturn.<br /><br />Green, who is also a Church of England priest said: &ldquo;The world economy has found a bottom.&rdquo;<br /><br />Green said yesterday that instead of rules and regulations, the fundamental culture of the banking industry needed to &ldquo;nurture a real culture of ethics and integrity&rdquo;, adding that this was &ldquo;perhaps the greatest priority of all as far as I am concerned for the boards of banks&rdquo;.<br /><br />In 2001 and 2002, when Green was head of HSBC&rsquo;s investment banking and markets operations, he cancelled all bonuses during the slump saying he could not justify them. While bankers protested, Green was later promoted for his bold move.<br /><br />Green also said that London will lose market share as a financial district as Asia grew and developed.