Screen grab of tweets about Standard Bank and its alleged role in the currency fixing scandal. Source: Twitter

Editorial Comment In The News

Standard Bank misreading outrage over collusion

Last year Standard Bank responded to former economist Chris Hart’s racist tweet within a day. That is how long it took a multinational bank to react to twitter outrage.

While this website was not around back then, we support the efforts to condemn any sort of racism. And it appears the bank was very aware of its need to try and remove any suspicion that they harbour racists. After all, this is what Chris Hart tweeted:

The question then arises: why does the selfsame bank not fear the backlash from an angry public for appearing to harbour, protect, or at the very least drag out the process as long as possible to shelter, a potential corrupt currency fixer? Standard Bank has said that it only learnt of the Competition Commision’s complaint on 15 February, and that they are engaging to learn more about the issue and will then decide on the appropriate action. Nine days later and there’s no moral outrage from the bank.

Contrast this to Barclays Africa CEO Maria Ramos apologising for her bank’s involvement in the scandal. Now consider the backlash to Ramos’ response being too little, too late. These are just a handful of the tweets:

Standard Bank won’t escape accusations that when it suits their public relations image they act fast in the face of rightful public outrage (over racism), but they drag their feet and play the legal game when it comes to accusations of financial crime, despite public outrage.

Why the apparent dragging of feet?

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