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Lord Myners Calls For Full Glass Steagall

In an interview with Jon Snow on this evening's Channel 4 News, Lord Myners called for full Glass Steagall legislation to deal with the corruption of the banks, a policy I have been demanding for years.


Paul Myners was appointed Financial Services Secretary in the government of Gordon Brown. He was made a life peer as a result of this job, because he was not a Member of Parliament.

His comments came during a panel discussion on Channel 4 News, dicussing the evidence given on Wednesday by Bob Diamond, erstwhile Chief Executive of Barclays Bank, to the Treasury Select Committee.

Towards the end of the discussion, Snow said to Myners:

Well, Paul Myners, there's been the Vickers Report into banking, and yet Vickers wanted to ring fence the casino activities and the retail activities. But we can't trust the bankers to respect a ring fence. If you have a ring fence, you climb over it, dig under it, or work your way through it. The banks have to be broken up between retail and casino, agreed?

Myners replied:

Yes, I do agree with that. I think the evidence of the last few weeks, and Diamond himself said that many of the problems that emerged in Barclays were within the ringfence as envisaged. Now the government has already diluted the ring fence that was proposed by Vickers, but the ring fence doesn't go far enough. We need to go to what is known as a Glass Steagall model, which is a complete separation ...

Myners has had a long financial career. He became Chief Executive of pension fund management company Gartmore Group in 1985, subsequently becoming Chairman in 1987 until 2001. He was a director at NatWest until it was taken over by Royal Bank of Scotland in the spring of 2000.

In August 2010, Myners joined the board of RIT Capital Partners PLC, a substantial investment fund chaired and sponsored by Lord Jacob Rothschild, and later that year he became a Trustee of ARK, the charity supported by London’s major hedge fund managers.

In 2000 he became Chairman of the Guardian Media Group, publisher of The Guardian and The Observer newspapers.

In the same interview, Jon Snow asked Lucy Marcus of Marcus Ventures for her views on Barclays. She said:

... its not just Bob Diamond but also the Board which has to be held to account for this as well ... there's also the issue of what I call "director contagon", which is, John Varley who was the Chief Executive of Barclays, who's no longer there but has some culpability, and he sits on the board of non-financial institutions around the world.

With that sentiment in mind, the question has to be asked, will the BBC sack Marcus Agius from its Board?

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