Boris Johnson is the Spectator’s diarist this week, and as you’d expect, his piece in tomorrow’s magazine is full of wonderful Borisisms including cyclists who ‘wave their bottoms at each other like courting pigeons’ and ‘luscious gold doubloon’.
But the Mayor of London also launches an attack on America and the way ‘some New York regulator’ has set upon Standard Chartered. He writes:
I mean, what is all this stuff about Standard Chartered? This British bank has generally enjoyed a high reputation for probity (as these places go) until yesterday, when some New York regulator apparently denounced Standard as a ‘rogue institution’. Well, if people have broken the law of this country, then by all means bang them away. But you can’t help wondering whether all this beating up of British banks and bankers is starting to shade into protectionism; and you can’t help thinking it might actually be at least partly motivated by jealously of London’s financial sector – a simple desire to knock a rival centre.
He’s not the only one: the FT this morning also quoted John Mann, Sam Gyimah, Kwasi Kwarteng and Pat McFadden making similar suggestions that the allegations around Standard Chartered are part of a campaign to weaken London as a financial centre. Even if their concerns are unfounded in this particular instance, the continuing drip-drip of revelations of wrongdoing in London-based banks does leave the City vulnerable.
You can read the rest of Boris’ column in The Spectator tomorrow.