Newsnight & the Flowers interview – where were the regulators?

Watching Paul Flowers, the ex-chairman of the Co-Op bank, being grilled by Paxman on Newsnight last night, I wondered again how on earth he was ever approved to chair a bank.

 

It is bad enough that the co-op groups internal appointment process unanimously selected Mr Flowers (just how unqualified were the other candidates?) but then he was interviewed by the regulators and approved by them as well.

I’m reminded that amongst all the fury at the banking industry and the vilification of anyone even remotely connected to the banks, the regulators seem to have escaped all consequences and most of the blame. How is this possible?

Where were the regulators?

Perhaps this is unconnected, but I noted that the past chairman of the FSA, Hector Sants, took up a post in Jan 2013 with Barclays as Head of Compliance and Government and Regulatory Relations. By October 2013 he was suffering from “exhaustion and stress” and in November 2103 he resigned.

Do you have any faith in the regulators ability to prevent future crises?