The West

Learn from Olympians, UK bankers told
Learn from Olympians, UK bankers told

Britain's scandal-tainted bankers could learn a thing or two from the country's athletes after these Olympics, the country's central banker says.

In a newspaper article, Sir Mervyn King wrote that the London Olympic showed it was wrong to argue that massive bonuses were needed to motivate people to do well.

Sir Mervyn said the success of Olympians and the pride of the 10,000 volunteers at the games showed "motivation does not come from financial incentives alone".

"The financial sector has done us all a disservice in promoting the belief that massive financial compensation is necessary to motivate individuals," he wrote in the Mail on Sunday.

"Look at the success of the volunteers whose presence at the Olympic Park and around London did so much to create the atmosphere of happiness that pervaded the games."

The recent scandals that have rocked Britain's financial world showed "banks could learn a thing or two about fair play from the Olympic movement".

Sir Mervyn 's comments come as the reputation of Britain's banking industry - which took a body blow during the global financial crisis - has hit a new low.

British banks have long been in the dock over mis-selling of insurance and interest rate products to consumers and small businesses. But more recent scandals have provided new shocks.

Last month Barclays was forced to pay a $US453 million ($A430 million) fine for manipulating the Libor, a key market interest rate.

HSBC, another big London-based bank, faces fines of up to $US1 billion after the US Senate issued a damming report alleging it had failed to stop the laundering of Mexican drug money.

And, back in May, JPMorgan Chase & Co disclosed a surprise $US2 billion trading loss - later upgraded to nearly $US6 billion - racked up by its London office.

Most recent were allegations, out of New York, that UK bank Standard Chartered had spent years laundering Iranian oil money.

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