Friday, August 11, 2006

new services from banks?

artoon double-takes have always amused me, almost as much as the dynamic poses often struck in cartoons immediately prior to dashing off screen.

There was therefore a hint of humour in the otherwise serious business of announcing the names of nineteen people accused today of plotting to attack passenger planes, because it took me a couple of seconds to react to the fact that it was the Bank of England that was publishing the names, not the police or government.

The Bank's role in this affair is to freeze the assets of the suspects, on the instructions of the Treasury. Indeed, the Bank's website has a list of several hundred individuals and organisations in different regimes who are the subject of similar sanctions.

I understand the argument for doing this, but I still think it odd that Scotland Yard should have 'no immediate comment' to make. Shouldn't the police take the lead in such circumstances? What precisely does it mean for the Bank of England to be an agent for the Treasury? Is the Bank in the private sector now? If some or all of the suspects are found not guilty, could the Bank be sued for libel? What might other private sector organisations end up doing?


Post a Comment

<< Home