Barclays: The only offenders?

July 10, 2012, 3:50 PM GMT+0

83% of Britons feel that other banks are probably 'just as bad', as Inquiry announced into LIBOR rig

From what they have seen or heard about the recent LIBOR scandal enveloping Barclays, the vast majority of Britons believe that Barclays is not alone in its disreputable behaviour, and that other banks are probably 'just as bad'.

However, just under one in ten think Barclays was the most serious offender among its banking counterparts, our poll shows.

  • 83% of Britons feel that other banks are probably just as bad as Barclays
  • 7% Barclays was probably the only or the most serious offender and most other banks were not as bad
  • 10% don't know

When asked to consider the scandal in light of the events of 2008 ‒ when the then-escalating financial crisis forced the nationalisation of several banks to prevent their collapse ‒ the majority of Britons (84%) also feel that regardless of the circumstances, it would never be justified for Barclays to lie about or manipulate its interest rates. Just 5% thought Barclays' actions could be justified.

Record fine

A record £290m fine was levied on Barclays earlier this month for attempting to manipulate the price of a crucial interest rate known as 'Libor' – the London Interbank Offered Rate – and its European equivalent 'Euribor'. The political upheaval that followed has raised the suggestion that the entire financial market may have been rigged since 2005.

Barclays ‘one of many’

Following the commencement of a criminal probe into the attempted rigging by Barclays Plc, the Financial Services Authority has made it clear that Bob Diamond's former employer is just one of the many banks under investigation, with up to twenty others currently co-operating with the authorities.

The cross-party committee, chaired by Tory MP Andrew Tyrie, will reportedly aim to look at the wider issue of the culture and practices in the banking sector in an era that Chancellor George Osborne has labelled ‘the age of irresponsibility.’

The Inquiry is to be entirely Parliamentary, after Labour lost out on a Judge-led public inquiry last week.

See the survey details and full results here (page 10)