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Law society urges caution over government proposals to jail bankers for reckless misconduct

The Law society has issued a statement in response to the government's plans to introduce a new criminal offence of 'reckless misconduct' in the banking industry.  Law society Chief Executive Desmond Hudson said, ˜Introducing recklessness as the basis for an offence means that prosecutors will have to decide, possibly years after a business decision was taken, whether it was reckless or not at the time.  At a time when growth is vital for the UK economy, its important that we get the balance right between ensuring adequate risk control and stimulating business.  Hudson argued that business decisions will always involve some risk and that in an unpredictable commercial environment a decision which, with the benefit of hindsight could be seen as reckless, might at the time seem a reasonable course of action.  The prospect of criminal sanctions may discourage well-qualified candidates from taking up senior positions in the banking industry.   The society suggested that existing civil and regulatory remedies were likely to be quicker, more transparent and more effective.

source: The Law society Gazette


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