Meet Anthony Browne: The New Head Of The British Bankers Association

Three weeks ago, before Lieborgate broke and the world finally understood what so many had been warning about for so long, we noted something else: that not only was LIBOR manipulated and fudged daily between 2005 and 2008, but as the chart in the attached post shows, it has been gamed every single day in 2012 as well. More importantly, we noted something else - the transition at the top of the British Bankers Association: the organization responsible for compiling LIBOR submissions from member banks, and reporting what the daily Libor fixing is. Because in the second week of June, the BBA's new head became... the former head of lobbying for none other than Morgan Stanley, Anthony Browne, a firm which itself was just caught red-handed manipulating rating agency "independent ratings" to benefit its bottom line (and which itself miraculous was downgraded by less than what the market expected in order to allow it to avoid several billion in collateral calls). And what did Anthony do at Morgan Stanley until June 12: he was head of Government relations for Morgan Stanley for Europe, Middle East and Africa and was previously an economic and business adviser to London Mayor Boris Johnson.  That's right - "head of government relations" for a rather prominent TBTF bank, being put in charge of daily Libor fixing. But everyone is shocked, shocked, that gambling has been going on here for years.

From the Independent:

Who he?

Former journalist with The Times, Observer and BBC. Moved into the world of think-tanks (right of centerish) and then became Lond on Mayor Boris Johnson's policy director for economic development. Most recently Morgan Stanley's chief lobbyist. At the age of 47, he remains a high-flier.

Stepping into the shoes of?

Angela Knight. Fiesty and funny former Tory Treasury Minister who is off to no less calm pastures as the boss of Energy UK. (You thought bankers were unloved? Wait until you see what happens to power generators.) She guided the banking world through the five most turbulent years in the industry and scored points for never ducking the issues and teaching far better-paid people than herself how to apologise.

What's next?

Carry on apologising. Continue to tell the top bankers that they are still paying themselves far too much. Oh, and as you say in your own words "ensure the banking sector returns to health, remains in Britain, and has the trust of the public and politicians".

Pitfalls?

George Osborne is desperate to start selling off some of the taxpayer stakes in Royal Bank of Scotland and Lloyds. Don't let him oversell the strength of the industry. Vince Cable will have a dig when ever he can. New entrants like Metro Bank, Virgin Bank and even M&S will want to grab their slice of the BBA cake at the expense of longer-established banks. Don't punt on who might be the next Governor of the Bank of England. You could put several noses out of joint.