The HSBC revelations that it has hidden clients’ accounts, and had a policy of tax evasion has hit the headlines.
It turns out that the Swiss arm of HSBC has been dealing with African Diamond traders who have broken the law, dodgy eastern european bankers, corrupt arms dealers, and imprisoned drug dealers. The millions of pounds and dollars slushing through these accounts must have been too tempting.
We live in a strange time where money talks and the rich are richer and the poor are poorer. Never has the difference between rich and poor been so great.
What is a shock is that the news is a shock. But is it a shock? Swiss banks dealing with money with no questions asked. In 1964 UK prime minister called the swiss banks “The Gnomes of Zurich” referring to their reputation for secrecy and greed. Swiss bank.
Many films such as the Bourne series, the French Connection, Hannibal all refer to swiss bank accounts with large sums of cash in them. As cinema goers and film watchers we are conditioned to believe that Swiss Banks are secretive and therefore doing deals which are not legal. That was the whole point.
Is it a shock that in 1998 all banks were required to do checks on all clients before working with them? And now it seems they haven’t been. Really? After the 2008 crash and the constant chatter about the banks’ conduct, bankers’ bonuses and committees scrutinising the banks’ behaviour ever since.
Is it a shock that there is evidence and that we have found out what is going on? The press seem to think so. But
it is really in the press’ interest to communicate shock so that we buy their papers, go on websites, and tweet horror & disgust at the discovery. Perhaps this is what it is – just a media manipulation.
Create shock and it becomes newsworthy. Swiss Bank.
The shock also plays into the “what .. me?” side of ourselves. Knowing we are doing something that we know others would not approve of. Creating shock and indignation in attempt to deflect others from the truth. To turn others away from what might be dubious is a good ploy to maintain innocence.
But not a shock.
Copyright Adrian Scott North London Counsellor Blog 2015
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Disclaimer: This weblog is the view of the writer and for general information only.
This article is designed to provoke argument and critique.