corruption in the City

   In the late 1980s, a climate of greed encouraged a number of bank frauds including Bank of Credit and Commerce (BCCI), where thousands of Asian investors lost money. In other famous scandals, Nick Leeson is credited with bringing down the merchant bank Barings through unauthorized currency trading. Peter Young at Morgan Grenfell allowed conflicts of interest to lose money for unit trust holders. Many of the leaders of privatized former public utility companies were accused of enriching themselves by voting themselves hugely increased salaries to ‘bring them into line with the private sector’; Cedric Brown, chairman of British Gas, became particularly notorious for this. Share-holders who believed they owned public utilities, both before and after they were sold, became disgruntled.
   See also: CBI; financial crises
   MIKE STORRY

Encyclopedia of contemporary British culture . . 2014.

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