Roman senator and historian Cornelius Tacitus once said, "A shocking crime was committed on the unscrupulous initiative of a few individuals, with the blessing of more, and amid the passive acquiescence of all" and while I continue to smart from the lack of impartiality, unbridled prejudice and misplaced assumptions of the Financial Ombudsman’s Service towards my HBOS complaint, I cannot help but wonder how much more acquiescence I, along with the “ Occupy” protesters worldwide, am expected to endure at the hands of financial regulatory impotence.
Hearing that St Paul’s Cathedral’s backers are dominated by banking interests worth more than £450 billion, 60% of its financial supporters are linked to finance and a large proportion of the trustees have a direct interest in investment banking, it is little wonder the church, like the politicians whose campaign funding relies on the favours of the corporate elite, are dithering as to which side of the fence they wish to sit on in this high profile battle for an ethical economy. It is also unsurprising to find the Corporation of the City of London’s weapon of choice for the dissolution of the Occupy St Paul’s protesters is health and safety. It is however, nothing short of infuriating to witness the ease with which a mere handful of people are able to put the wheels in motion to guard against a perceived danger via health and safety legislation when it is compared with the softly softly approach that has so far been adopted by regulators and governments alike in the face of an actual, and ongoing, global financial crisis. It is nothing short of ludicrous in the light of widespread public outcry for an urgent solution to halt the banking and corporate elites continued looting of the worlds economy.
After reading both HBOS whistle blower Paul Moore’s article, along with that of former banker John Fullerton, both of which vehemently support the need for a return to an economy where “finance is its servant and not its master”, it is clear that a winter of discontent is not only on the cards for the Occupy movement but it is also on the lips and in the hearts of a collective that is not on the steps of St Paul’s and neither is it outside the New York stock exchange. This cry “for the greed and self interest of the minority to be put aside in favour of an economy that promotes a more equitably shared prosperity and respects the physical limits of our planet” seems to be on the lips of an ever increasing number of individuals.
I, for one, sincerely hope my reply to the Financial Ombudsman’s adjudicator in which I request she adhere to FSO's words of intent as stated in their own mission statement will play its part in facilitating a regulatory change. Regulatory change that not only prevents the sweeping of the 99%’s interests under the carpet in favour of keeping the rich and powerful sweet but instead takes those responsible to task and passes judgement on them in a real and consequential manner.
Tacitus also said, “The more corrupt the state, the more numerous the laws”. So I wish to declare that I, housewife and mother of five, grandmother of six, Chairman of the Friends of my children's school and debt fighter extraordinaire, with the help of my trusty friend and confidant Chris (mother of one) plan to make sure these numerous laws are used to serve and protect me from the corrupt. For this reason my fourteen page letter to the Financial Ombudsman’s Service took Chris and I three whole days to write. I can't imagine the FOS are going to have much fun reading it but I live in hope that, at the very least, it starts the meaningful dialogue for which I have waited so long.