Lawyers doubt bank jail threat will really work

Tim Wallace
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THE BANKING Commission’s plan to jail reckless bankers who lead their firms to need a bailout may fail to have any real effect as proving recklessness is very difficult, lawyers said yesterday.

It is aimed at holding bosses more accountable – if it works.

“It seems extraordinarily difficult to imagine that an offence of reckless misconduct in the management of a bank will be successful,” said Mayer Brown’s Alistair Graham.

“As a criminal offence it will have to be proved beyond all reasonable doubt.”

And others criticised the motives behind the scheme.

“The unhelpful context of this report is references to people wanting to see “banged up bankers”. This has more than a whiff of playing to the gallery,” said Pinsent Masons’ Michael Isaacs.