The UK Parliamentary Commission on Banking Standards has just released its 500+ page report “Changing Banking for the Good.”
Among the report’s more intriguing proposals is the creation of a new criminal offense: “reckless misconduct in the management of a bank.”
Certainly, convicting someone who brought down a bank for “reckless misconduct” would be satisfying. Still, defining such a crime is a tall order, leaving us with something akin to Potter Stewart’s less than satisfying definition of pornography (“I know it when I see it”).
Even the report concedes this point: “…all concerned should be under no illusions about the difficulties of securing a conviction for such a new offence, the fact that recklessness in carrying out professional responsibilities carries a risk of a criminal conviction and a prison sentence would give pause for thought to the senior officers of UK banks.”