Lately JP Morgan has been in the news because of its big trading loss, then Barclay's because of the LIBOR rigging scandal and now here comes HSBC to join the party. Apparently their compliance department has been taking some time off. HSBC has admitted that its controls have been lacking and that the bank has been a conduit for significant money laundering operations.
So, guess what. David Bagley, head of compliance for HSBC, has apologized. We've seen a lot of that lately too. Jamie Dimon apologized for JP Morgan's losses, the head of Barclay's apologized for its scandal and now this. Stop apologizing and focus your energy on running your businesses properly for goodness sake.
David Bagley is stepping down from his post, but says he will remain with HSBC. Great. Irene Dorner, president and CEO of HSBC Bank USA, (where most of the damage was) after apologizing has said that the changes the bank made "'will be embedded and sustained going forward." What is that saying...oh yes, something about closing the stable door after the horse has already gotten out...or something like that.
When you run multi-billion dollar businesses, it is not about saying "I'm sorry." Any four year old can say that and they often do after something they have done. It is about earning your salary by running your businesses effectively, efficiently, legally and ethically. Above all it is about accountability and meritocracy. These guys should have to give back the big salaries and bonuses they were paid during the period where their businesses went astray just as they reap the big rewards when their businesses are successful. And big banking in general needs a huge makeover.