BBC News Radio Interview on Banking Standards and Banker Bonuses

Kern Alexander critically comments on BBC World at 1 on the report issued by the UK Parliamentary Commission on Banking Standards. Professor Alexander commented that although the report provides some meaningful proposals for reform, it is mainly an aspirational political document whose proposals for increased bank supervisory powers to impose sanctions on bank management are essentially duplicative of existing UK regulatory powers. Moreover, although the proposals for reform of bankers' bonuses is stricter than the existing UK regulatory rules, it conflicts with current EU initiatives to cap banker bonuses and to clawback losses from previosuly paid bonuses and therefore puts UK policy on a collision course with Brussels. Finally, Alexander criticised the report's proposal to impose criminal sanctions on bank managers and directors whose banks are bailed out by the taxpayer as impractical and in possibly violation of UK Human Rights law.   Alexander said that the main problem with UK regulation was that politicians failed to give regulators adequate support in enforcing existing UK law and regulation. Lord Lawson, a Member of the Parliamentary Commission and former Chancellor of the Excehequer under Margaret Thatcher disagreed with Prof Alexander and said politicians were  not to blame. Listen to the interview and debate at http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio4/.