Bankers to face jail time… Ooooh, that’s more like it!!

A report by the Parliamentary Commission on Banking, published today, has recommended that “senior persons” who run banks in a “reckless manner”, should be jailed and have their bonuses clawed back… nice!!

According to a report by a cross-party group of MPs and peers, led by Andrew Tyrie MP, bankers had escaped “personal responsibility” for their actions following the banking collapse, and said that radical reforms are required to restore trust in the UK banking sector. “Where the standards of individuals, especially those in senior roles, have fallen short, clear lines of accountability and enforceable sanctions are needed,” said Mr Tyrie.

The 576 page report, which is the fifth and final publication by the commission, brings to an end a 6 month investigation during which it’s members asked 9,000 questions of hundreds of witnesses, during 73 sessions which lasted a total of 161 hours.

The key recommendations of the report are:

  • Introduction of a new Senior Persons Regime, to ensure that the most important responsibilities within banks are assigned to specific, senior individuals so they can be held fully accountable for their decisions
  • Making reckless misconduct in the management of a bank, a criminal offence carrying a custodial sentence
  • For bonuses to be deferred by 10yrs so that they can be clawed back retrospectively, even after the senior persons have left their position
  • Introduction of a new Licensing Regime underpinned by new Banking Standards Rules to ensure that senior persona are subject to the full range of enforcement powers
  • Replacing the existing inadequate and confused statements of principle with a new set of Banking Standards Rules

Recommendations by the commission, which was set up last year in the wake of the Libor-rigging scandal, which require legislation are expected to be added to the Banking Bill that is currently going through Parliament, meaning a criminal law for bankers could be in place before the end of 2015.

We’re still digesting the contents of the report and will no doubt be discussing it in more detail in the coming weeks!

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How to Choose the Right Credit Card

Credit cards are found everywhere nowadays and it has never been easier to fill in an application and have one delivered to your door within a few days.

Even individuals with a poor credit profile can often get small amounts of credit thanks to companies that cater specifically for people looking to improve their credit score.

If you’ve decided to get a credit card then it is important to make sure that you’re getting the best possible deal for you, so here are some tips to help you choose the right credit card:

  • How will you Use the Card?
    The card you choose will ultimately depend on how you plan to use it. If you want a credit card to pay for balance transfers, for example, it would be wise to opt for a card which has a low interest rate specifically on balance transfers. Are you going to pay your balance in full each month or do you plan on carrying it over from month to month? This will determine if you opt for a charge card or perhaps a card with a low interest rate.
  • Use Comparison Sites
    Comparison websites such as Credit.com, IndexCreditCards.com, and CardRatings.com provide an excellent resource for comparing the various features of different credit cards. This makes life so much easier because all of the information will be in one place in an easily-digestible format, enabling you to make a fair and objective comparison.
  • What is the Grace Period?
    The grace period simply refers to the amount of time you have to pay your balance in full each month before additional charges and interest are applied. Many cards typically offer a one month or 28-day grace period; however, some offer a longer period so this is something to look out for if you think you may need more time to pay your balance in full.
  • What is the APR?
    The annual percentage rate or APR is the amount of interest applied to balances carried over past the grace period mentioned above.
    Credit cards often have a different APR for balance transfers and purchases so make sure you’re aware of the different rates for each to ensure you’re getting the best rate for your purposes.
  • What is the Credit Limit?
    If this is your first credit card, you will probably be given a lower credit limit but this can really depend on your credit history.
    The spending limits imposed will vary from card to card – as will the fees imposed for going over your limit – so make sure you’re getting a limit that is appropriate to your level of spending, and check that the over-limit fees are not excessive.
    The best way to avoid spending beyond your credit limit is to always keep your balance fairly low and set a percentage amount that you will never allow it to exceed. Many card providers also send alerts when you are within a certain range of your limit so this is definitely worth taking advantage of.

 

Guest contributor:  Oliver Harding has written many articles for thebestdiscountcodes. He covers money saving tips in addition to providing great money management advice.

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