The other evening I was at a meeting of Insolvency Lawyers and Restructuring professionals to hear a talk from a senior member of Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (the UK tax people).
After a lucid and frank presentation about the role of HMRC during the recent financial crisis and how they were dealing with the rising number of companies in default (and individuals in personal financial distress), a senior member of the audience stood up and said the following:
“As someone involved in helping companies survive their financial troubles I’d just like to state that from my experience over the past several years during this business crisis, the HMRC has done more to help distressed companies and individuals than the banks!”
His remarks earned a round of applause from the audience. Like it or not, believe it or not, that’s the perception of banking today by many business professionals, and certainly the public.
The culture of banking needs fixing, from the inside, and it will take courageous leadership to mend it.