Could having an army of promoters be worth $1.8bl?
Banco Santander, Spain’s largest bank manages a lot of money for customers. Some of the money they were responsible for was invested in Madoff’s fraudulent investment scheme. Today, the bank has agreed to compensate their customers for losses arising from these investments made on client’s behalf.
Cost to the bank is $1.8b! The bank is admitting that it failed its customers and that it keeps its promises. It was hired to be a middleman for being “quality control” for its clients. Its job was to evaluate and select among thousands of money managers around the world and guide their clients to the best ones. So, the bank was duped by Madoff, no doubt. But, the bank was hired look out for clients and that is exactly what it is doing.
Other banks and investment advisors will be sued and will hire lawyers to fight their clients instead; they will eventually settle. They will get no goodwill from clients for doing so. They will get a small story on the Web that tells a story of how they fought to the bitter end but settled without admission of guilt to avoid the risks of trial. While these advisors may end up paying less than this bank by fighting their clients, to clients, 100% of the cost will be flushed. Everyone will know that these firms didn’t keep their promises when put to the test.