What planet are they on?

There are times when it seems that the City’s great and good inhabit a parallel universe.

This thought been prompted by an article, Bank of England bosses claim Charlotte Hogg’s resignation was ‘disproportionate’, in the Business section of this morning’s Telegraph, and, in particular, that

the outcome seemed to court members entirely disproportionate to the original offence,” said the directors of the Bank in a note recording topics discussed in a teleconference which took place on March 14, the day she resigned.

Any private sector boss making the same mistakes would not have had to quit, the board said.

To which one might respond, #Headinhands, “Up to a point Lord Copper.”

Most observers were surprised that Hogg took so long to resign.

There is no doubt that the Bank regretted her resignation. But ‘disproportionate’? Surely not.

A more considered view was that of the Treasury select committee, whose unanimous report concluded that Hogg’s “professional competence falls short of the very high standards required to fulfil the additional responsibilities of deputy governor for markets and banking” and whose chair Andrew Tyrie offered a much more considered view than it appears the Court held,

This is a regrettable business with no winners. Ms Hogg has acted in the best interest of the institution for which she has been working. This is welcome.

 

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The sophisticated client?

Show me the sophisticated client, and I’ll show you the opportunity to make some more money. As I wasn’t there, perhaps it is unfair to criticise, but I remain unhappy at the continuing pressure to widen the conflict rules, ostensibly to allow the sophisticated client to make the choice to instruct the lawyer who would otherwise be conflicted. Thus, from The Lawyer.com today

Clifford Chance general counsel and chairman of the City of London Law Society rules and regulation committee Chris Perrin has called for significant widening of client conflict rules at The Lawyer’s Strategic Risk Management Conference. The City of London Law Society has made proposals, which would effectively allow clients to consent to all conflicts of interest. Perrin said: “We’ve been talking about this possible change for some time. It gives sophisticated clients who know what they’re doing freedom.”

Ethics are ethics: except it seems when money is involved. It is a slippery slope.