BANK BOSSES MUST BE BROUGHT TO AC­COUNT

Younger de­signs make their Marks Call for tracker mort­gage lenders to an­swer for role

Irish Daily Mirror - - NEWS - BY PAT FLANA­GAN

AF­TER a decade of poor cloth­ing sales, Marks & Spencer to­day un­veils its “make or break” new col­lec­tion.

Con­fi­dent and stylish, defin­ing the sea­son’s trends in an el­e­gant, wear­able way the bas­tion of the high street has a lot to be op­ti­mistic about.

And there’s a big em­pha­sis on younger and more af­ford­able styles.

But will it be enough?

New CEO Steve Rowe has won back shop­pers aged 50 plus, and at­tracted a younger au­di­ence. Style di­rec­tor Belinda Earl said M&S had learned women don’t shop by age and has brought in younger de­sign­ers.

She said: “Women are no longer de­fined by tra­di­tional age bound­aries. What women want is age­less, time­less style.” BOSSES linked to the tracker mort­gage scan­dal should be held to ac­count, a top banker said yes­ter­day.

The Cen­tral Bank’s deputy gov­er­nor Ed Sibley said he wants lenders to be held re­spon­si­ble for what some have de­scribed as a huge fraud against up to 20,000 cus­tomers.

He added his of­fi­cials were plan­ning en­force­ment in­ves­ti­ga­tions against all of the coun­try’s main fi­nan­cial in­sti­tu­tions.

Speak­ing in Dublin yes­ter­day, Mr Sibley said: “I ex­pect the boards, the in­di­vid­u­als on the boards and the ex­ec­u­tives to be ac­count­able not only the ini­tial de­ci­sions which started the con­sumer detri­ment, but the per­sis­tent and on­go­ing behaviours and de­ci­sions that mag­ni­fied this harm over an ex­tended pe­riod.”

The main banks now face the threat of mas­sive penal­ties as well as pay­ing out what could amount to close to €1bil­lion in com­pen­sa­tion and re­pay­ments.

Mr Sibley blasted their un­eth­i­cal be­hav­iour which has brought mis­ery to tens of thou­sands of fam­i­lies, some who have lost their homes as a re­sult of the scan­dal.

He said lenders of­ten looked at what they could get away with – not cus­tomer wel­fare or the long-term in­ter­ests of their busi­nesses.

He added: “Short-ter­mism was in­cen­tivised. Ef­fec­tive in­ter­nal chal­lenge of the pre­vail­ing views was not.

“De­ci­sions were made in the short-term in­ter­est of the share­holder [or at least man­age­ment’s in­ter­pre­ta­tion of it], and whether de­ci­sions were le­gal, with too lit­tle con­sid­er­a­tion of whether they were eth­i­cal or in the in­ter­ests of the cus­tomer.

“This be­hav­iour has been de­struc­tive for long-term share­holder value, as well as cus­tomers and fi­nan­cial sta­bil­ity.

“Un­for­tu­nately, as the tracker mort­gage scan­dal demon­strated, this ‘is it le­gal?’ at­ti­tude still per­vades in too many in­sti­tu­tions.

“On this spe­cific point, we are un­der no il­lu­sion that con­tin­ued and con­certed pres­sure is re­quired to en­sure all af­fected cus­tomers re­ceive re­dress and com­pen­sa­tion and banks com­ply with our find­ings.

“I ex­pect all the main banks will be sub­ject to Cen­tral Bank in­ves­ti­ga­tions.

“In­ter­views with in­di­vid­u­als have been and will be con­ducted, and large vol­umes of doc­u­men­ta­tion have been and will con­tinue to be gath­ered and re­viewed.”

The tracker scan­dal shows the, ‘Is it le­gal?’ at­ti­tude still per­vades

ED SIBLEY

DUBLIN YES­TER­DAY

RANGE Lim­ited Edi­tion jacket; M&S Col­lec­tion; Lim­ited Edi­tion jacket; Au­to­graph out­fit

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