The City regulator has begun an investigation into the role of former senior directors at the Co-operative Bank.
In the wake of the bank’s £1.5bn capital shortfall, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) is investigating whether there is enough evidence to take action against former directors, including Rev. Paul Flowers, the ex-chairman.
The action could lead to lifetime City bans or sizeable fines were any wrongdoing to be proven.
The regulator, led by chief executive Martin Wheatley, is believed to be focusing on the actions of individuals in the run-up to the shortfall being uncovered in June 2013.
Central to the probe is whether there were any regulatory breaches by the directors in relation to the regulatory capital position of the bank and the way that provisions were accounted for in relation to loan impairments.
And of course we all recall his repeated insistences that the Rev Stephen Green should look long and hard at the morals of what HSBC was doing. Which makes the activities of the Rev Paul Flowers interesting, no?
Now, as it happens, I think hiring rent boys and taking crack are entirely moral activities. If that’s what floats your boat and everyone’s a consenting adult then the activity is, by definition, moral. Might not be legal but it’s moral: at least, morally acceptable.
But that’s not an argument I can imagine Ritchie making. And I have to admit to being very surprised indeed that he hasn’t visited this subject recently. He is, after all, usually quite keen to tell us all what is moral and what is not.