What they are not telling you about today's bank scandal

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It gleams above the sparkling water of Canary Wharf, but the FSA is no canary. Where I come from in Yorkshire the birds were used to give early warning of noxious fumes.

What has been revealed today has been smelling rotten for a very long time. Far from an early warning, it has gone on for more than a decade. And yet still there are big questions unanswered in this swaps scandal.

Canary Wharf
Canary Wharf Credit: Yui Mok/PA

I have spent the afternoon at the towering HQ of the Financial Services Authority, where staff have worked hard to broker a deal with the guilty banks.

Yet still they can't say how much the banks owe in compensation or how many small businesses were wrongly sold these swap products. Nor can they tell me when the money will be paid. So far the FSA has only investigated four banks, yet we know others did sell these products. Worse, the gap in our knowledge concerns fines and penalties.

Ominously, none are even mentioned in today's FSA report. They tell me that to get a quick deal with banks they used a "co-operative approach."

Why couldn't they just have taken a confrontational approach? "That could have taken 18 months longer," a spokesman told me.

So today we have Britain's most senior banking watchdog actually praising the banks' bosses! They are warmly thanked for their kind co-operation. No wonder this on-going scandal has seen a loss of trust, not only in banks, but also in the systems set up to police them.

Tune in next week for more stinking scandals in the world of banking.