“Some things in life are bad
They can really make you mad
Other things just make you swear and curse
When you’re chewing on life’s gristle
Don’t grumble, give a whistle
And this’ll help things turn out for the best…”
So 2013 has arrived, the RDR has become reality and many advisers of all persuasions will have had this song lyric ringing in their ears.
I am not one to look negatives in isolation as there is always an element of ‘curate’s egginess’ in most areas that cause division. I am also aware that with the start of a new year we should also concentrate on the positives by way of our actions, deeds, thoughts and views.
But while whistling this catchy little tune, I noted that Hector Sants had bagged a knighthood.
Many advisers will see this as a ‘signing-off’ kick in the teeth from somebody who has in their eyes done his very best to fix a system that was not entirely broke, to regulate the wrong people in the wrong way for the wrong reason.
The timing, if it had to happen at all, was terrible, it lacked sensitivity toward the industry and his defence, that it was a reward for the hard work of all the FSA staff, and accepted on their behalf by Hector simply beggars belief.
Nobody at the failed FSA should be seeing reward beyond the inflated salary and pension benefits many are in receipt of.
Sants’ RDR mission, that he chose to abandon, along with other senior officers from the bridge of the Canary Wharf version of the Cost Concordia before port had been reached, may be a success for some but he should not be rewarded in such an undeserved way.
Perhaps to restore some integrity in a system that seems to reward public sector mediocre achievements or spectacular failure with equal abandon, a decision to refuse to accept it would be welcomed.
With 2013 being a challenging year for the industry remember:
If life seems jolly rotten
There’s something you’ve forgotten
And that’s to laugh and smile and dance and sing.
When you’re feeling in the dumps?
Don’t be silly chumps?
Just purse your lips and whistle – that’s the thing”.
After all if he sorts out the compliance issues at Barclays, as he is being tasked to do, a knighthood could be considered as a meritorious achievement?