City journalist saw 'flashes of arrogance' in speeches

A top City journalist has told PRWeek that all the comms advice received by the ousted bankers appearing in front of the Treasury select committee proved inadequate in hiding their shortcomings.

City editor: Daily Mail’s Brummer
City editor: Daily Mail’s Brummer

Alex Brummer, City editor of the Daily Mail, said: ‘These people can get the best PR advice but in the end they res­ort to what their personalities are. They will never accept that they made mistakes and will claim it is always someone else’s fault.

Eventually those flashes of arrogance came through.’

Brummer detected a pla­nned strategy to apologise in order to disarm the committee and this strategy had been ‘rehearsed to death’. But he arg­ued it failed to take the sting out of the hearing, particularly as the story moved on to issues surrounding risk managem­ent, showing banks were ign­oring cautionary advice from inside their organisations.

Brummer also felt that the bankers’ attempts to talk down their personal financial gains by pointing out the money they lost in shares bec­ause of the crisis was a comms mistake. ‘I felt it was rather self-serving and a big mistake for Sir Fred Goodwin and Andy Hornby to cast it as a personal issue. They may be losers, but it is what the savers, pensioners and shareholders have lost that really matters.’

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