Een boete van $4,3 mrd die geen indruk (meer) maakt

LONDEN – In november heeft de Britse Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) een schikking getroffen, waarbij zes banken een boete werd opgelegd van in totaal $4,3 mrd wegens manipulatie van de markt voor buitenlandse valuta's. En toch gaven de aandelenkoersen nauwelijks een kik. Hoe kan dat?

De misdadige praktijken en managementblunders die tijdens het onderzoek van een jaar werden blootgelegd en tot de boetes hebben geleid waren schokkend. Uit slecht geschreven e-mailtjes en chat-roomgesprekken tussen corrupte handelaren stijgt de walm op van schaamteloze samenzweringen om de valutakoersen te manipuleren ten bate van persoonlijk gewin. Hoge managers hadden zich zo weinig met de werkvloer bemoeid dat ze hun werknemers toestonden zich te gedragen als ordinaire, verwende kinderen. Zich tooiend met bijnamen als “de drie musketiers” en “het A-team” deden ze wat ze maar wilden, en brachten ze hun werkgevers enorme schade toe.

Maar ondanks de hoge boetes van de FCA is geen enkele topfunctionaris gedwongen om op te stappen en hebben beleggers slechts hun schouders opgehaald. Eén van de redenen daarvoor was uiteraard dat men wist dat de schikking eraan kwam; louter de details van de vergrijpen en de omvang van de boetes waren nieuws.

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