Three directors of Barclays bank resigned in July after beuing accused of fixing the LIBOR interest rate at which banks lend to one another.
During a parlimentary hearing, the CEO Bob Diamond, who later resigned, offered an aplogy, and was asked by MP John Mann about the three founding Quaker principles, which the former chief executive did not appear to know, were “honesty, integrity and plain dealing”. Mann offered to tattoo the words on Diamond’s knuckles – at which point, Diamond said: “Honesty, integrity, and plain dealing are the way I have behaved through out my entire career.” (The Guardian, July 4, 2012)
Peter Haslam, of Transforming Business, Cambridhe University, commented, “While the trinity of virtues he cited may have failed to feature in Barclays’ apology, it does feature in Barclay’s Apology – a book first published in English in 1678 by the Scottish Quaker Robert Barclay. The full title was An Apology for the True Christian Divinity, and it had a formative influence on the development of business ethics in the global economy.”
Haslam continued, “had the dealers in Barclays observed the Decalogue’s prohibition against lying and stealing, rate rigging would have been avoided. As it is, the bank has incurred a hefty fine, a loss of trust, a leadership vacuum, and the prospect of criminal prosecution.”
Liberal Democrat peer Lord Oakeshott told Sky News: “This is a great day. Bob Diamond was the greedy gambler, personified. What really matters now is that the criminals inside Barclays, that they are charged and they are convicted and the full force of the law is brought to bear. Stealing money as a banker is the same thing as stealing from a house. (London Evening Standard, July 3)
The Bible says, “So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall!: (1 Cor 10:12) We need to hold fast to the age-old truths of the Bible and keep vigilant on our motives and deeds.