Christine Lagarde, the managing director of the International Monetary Fund, has warned that “a fierce industry pushback” by the financial sector is delaying much-needed reforms and risks destabilising the global economy.
Ms Lagarde told a London conference on “inclusive capitalism” yesterday that progress on building a safer system had been “too slow”, mainly because of industry attempts to halt introduction of tougher rules.
She also hit out at continued misconduct in financial services and said the industry had “not changed fundamentally in a number of dimensions”, reeling off a list of scandals including money laundering and the manipulation of Libor.
“Some prominent firms have even been mired in scandals that violate the most basic ethical norms,” said Ms Lagarde.
“While some changes in behaviour are taking place, these are not deep or broad enough. The industry still prizes short-term profit over long-term prudence, today’s bonus over tomorrow’s relationship.”
Her comments were echoed by Mark Carney, the Bank of England governor, who warned that “unbridled faith in financial markets” before the crisis, rising inequality and recent “demonstrations of corruption” had damaged the “social fabric”.
“When combined with the longer-term pressures of globalisation and technology on the basic social contract, an unstable dynamic of declining trust in the financial system and growing exclusivity of capitalism threatens,” said Mr Carney, who was speaking at the same conference as Ms Lagarde.
Their interventions come as policy makers battle to reform finance in the wake of the crisis of 2008-09 and to stem a series of scandals that has damaged the industry’s reputation further.
Regulators around the globe have imposed about $5.8bn in penalties for attempts to manipulate market benchmark rates. The sum is expected to climb as regulators conclude their investigations and as the number of private lawsuits rises.
Mr Carney, who also chairs the international Financial Stability Board, said the scandals highlighted “a malaise in corners of finance that must be remedied” and hinted at moves to develop new rules and regulations to counter the problem.
Several banks have pushed back against action by regulators, delaying settlements or refusing to admit wrongdoing.
Jamie Dimon, JPMorgan chief executive, has been an outspoken critic of tougher regulation, warning that customers would have to pay more for credit or be denied certain financial products as a result. He has also criticised tougher capital rules for being “anti-American”.
Both Mr Carney and Ms Lagarde also said they needed urgently to solve the problem of banks that were seen as “too big to fail”.
她的言论得到英国央行(Bank of England)行长马克?卡尼(Mark Carney)的呼应。卡尼警告称，本次危机前“对金融市场的极度信心”、不平等的加剧以及近期的“腐败事例”损害了“社会结构”。
兼任国际金融稳定委员会(Financial Stability Board)主席的卡尼表示，此类丑闻突显“金融业的某些角落存在弊病，必须纠正”。他暗示，官方正采取行动，制定新的规则和法规来对付这个问题。