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Banks and government: who knows who?

By Anna Doble, Channel 4 News

Updated on 14 June 2010

As Channel 4's Dispatches reveals how banks are continuing to bet trillions of dollars on risky derivatives, Who Knows Who maps the connections between Westminster and the City.

London's landmarks - from the City to Westminster. (Credit: Getty)

Barclays Plc leads the way with 13 "revolving doors" connections. Three of the bank's former directors are among the new MPs who have swapped the boardroom for the House of Commons.

An ex-military man, Stephen Barclay won the seat of North East Cambridshire for the Conservatives at the general election. After leaving the Army (Royal Regiment of Fusiliers) he went to Cambridge and has worked for Barclays, AXA Insurance, the FSA and as a special adviser to Defence Secretary Liam Fox, as well as Barclays.

Another new Tory MP (South Northamptonshire) Andrea Leadsom is former Financial Institutions Director at Barclays and former MD of London a hedge fund.

Jesse Norman - the new MP for Hereford and South Herefordshire - worked for Barclays in the 1990s, mainly on eastern Europe and other emerging markets. He left Barclays in 1997. He has also been a policy adviser to George Osborne and Boris Johnson.

Dispatches: How the Banks Won

As the government prepares an emergency budget to help pay for the bank bailout, Will Hutton investigates the banks and what they've done with our money.

He discovers that while ordinary taxpayers take the pain, for the banks it's largely business as usual.

Hutton analyses the banks' accounts and shows how they are using government-guaranteed funds to gamble with derivatives as they did before the crash. He also reveals how the banks are still paying vast salaries and bonuses, and City head hunters tell Dispatches how the banks hide the sums they're really paying out.

With the help of former and current members of the Bank of England's monetary policy committee, Hutton shows how the banks' booming margins come from the free and near-free money the government and taxpayers gave them to save the banking system.

He also investigates the banks' intense lobbying to resist government plans for reform and highlights recent research from the OECD on how Britain is internationally unusual in the extent to which bankers have key roles in the civil service and government.

Featuring high-powered contributors such as President Obama's banking advisor Paul Volcker, former Chancellor Alastair Darling, former City minister Lord Myners and current Business Secretary Vince Cable, Hutton shows why without urgent reform we risk the prospect of another crash - this time there won't be any money left for a bail-out - plus the certainty of British business being starved of vital funding.

With the Eurozone crisis fuelling fears of another banking crash this programme is an urgent and shocking call to action.

Dispatches: How the Banks Won is on Channel 4 at 8pm on June 14.

Bob Diamond is president of Barclays plc and chief executive of investment divison Barclays Capital.
In 2008 Boris Johnson unveiled Diamond as an adviser shortly before winning the mayoral election. Diamond, an American, is known for his sportsman-like leadership style, running his business as a "meritocracy".

Sir David Arculus is former boss at Emap (Smash Hits magazine was launched during his tenure) and United News and Media. He was a non-executive director Barclays Bank from 1997 to 2006 and is chairman of the Cabinet Office Better Regulation Task Force (he was known as Tony Blair's "red tape czar"). Sir David joined the board of O2 in 2003 and later sold the mobile firm to Spanish Telefonica.

Lord Fellowes was formerly private secretary to the Queen and Keeper of The Queen's Archive from 1990-99, having joined the Royal Household as assistant private secretary in 1977. He retired as chairman of Barclays Private Bank in December 2009.

Lord Digby Jones, who served as minister for UK trade and investment, is another former senior adviser at Barclays Capital. He was director of the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) for six years in the 2000s.

Chairman of the National Audit Office and Dean of London Business School Sir Andrew Likierman worked with Ken Clarke in the 1990s as the government's chief accountant. Sir Andrew is a non-executive director of Barclays.

Sir Richard Broadbent is chairman of Arriva PLC. He was the last chairman of Her Majesty's Customs and Excise before it was merged with the Inland Revenue in 2005.

Also on the Barclays board are notable US government figures including Reuben Jeffery III, former US under-secretary of state for economic affairs and Robert K Steel, current under-secretary of domestic finance at the US Treasury.

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And Jami Miscik is global head of sovereign risk at Barclays Capital - since the bank bought Lehman Brothers. She is former deputy director of intelligence at the CIA and a member of President Obama's intelligence advisory board.

Along the high street at Royal Bank of Scotland there are further revolving doors between business and government. Philip Hampton has been chairman of RBS since January 2009. He is also chair of J Sainsbury. In 2008 he was put in charge of UK Financial Investments Limited, the firm set up to manage the UK government's shareholding in banks.

Former Standard Life chief executive, Sir Sandy Crombie is the "shareholders' voice" on the board of RBS. He was a member of the Chancellor of the Exchequer's High Level Group, and has served on the Chancellor's insurance industry working group.

Quentin Davies, who served as minister for defence equipment and support under Gordon Brown, was an adviser to RBS between 1999 and 2003. Davies defected from the Tories to Labour in 2007.

Former deputy chairman of the Monopolies and Mergers Commission, Denise Kingsmill was given a life peerage in 2006. She is a senior adviser at RBS.

Over at Lloyds TSB, another Labour peer, Lord Leitch sits on the board. He is former chairman and chief executive of Zurich's UK operations. He is also chairman of health insurance group Bupa and a close friend of Tony Blair.

The most notable political face at HSBC belongs to former Labour cabinet minister Ruth Kelly. She was appointed to the bank's strategy unit in May following her decision to quit politics at the election.

Among the foreign banks there are further interesting connections. Jo Johnson, brother of London mayor Boris, formerly worked as a corporate financier in the investment banking division of Deutsche Bank. He is the new Tory MP for Orpington. Deutsche boasts a raft of top-level US advisers, including former chair of the Federal Reserve Sir Alan Greenspan.

Meanwhile at Goldman Sachs the revolving doors have more often spun in the other direction with many of the investment bank's senior figures going on to serve in high power government roles in both America (Henry Paulsen, US Treasury Secretary under George Bush) and in Britain (Lord Browne is a former non-executive director).

And caught between the sliding doors of politics and business, who could forget Tony Blair? The former prime minister is perhaps JP Morgan's most famous recruit. He joined the investment bank as consultant and senior adviser in January 2008, just six months after walking away from the most famous door of all - Number 10 Downing Street.

Dispatches: How the Banks Won is broadcast on Monday 14 June at 8pm on Channel 4.

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