HSBC 'sorry', thereby transforming banking culture overnight
The culture around banking has been a cesspool since the '80s, when they were let off the lead to do pretty much whatever they wanted. Successive governments didn't do anything about it either, letting them crack on... until they mucked everything up and loads of information came out about them which painted them in a bleak light.
Of course, the current government isn't going to do anything about it either. And why would they? The whole rotten system can be fixed by simply saying 'sorry'.
And that's what HSBC have done and, with their apology, we can all sleep soundly, knowing that that simple phrase has transformed decades of awful behaviour in the world of finance.
You'll know that HSBC have been doing all manner of dodgy tax business via their Swiss arm, helping clients to sidestep taxes - many of whom just so happen to be fundraisers for the Conservative Party.
Anyway, the bank was so very, very sorry that they took out a full-page advert in the Sunday papers, saying that the whole thing had been a painful experience and that standards in place today "were not universally in place" in years gone by. Fixing all the problems in banking, HSBC said: "We therefore offer our sincerest apologies."
Nice that all those shady dealings are now consigned to the past, eh? It really is a big relief to us all and, more importantly, it was so nice to see MPs across the board talking about the issue and not ignoring it at all.
That said, now we think of it, it would've been nicer if HSBC had said something along the lines of 'this won't happen again', and maybe some assurances from politicians that they might want to put penalties or rules in place to ensure that huge amounts of money don't vanish like this, and that massive institutions actually bolster the tax pot for the UK, so maybe we wouldn't have to see so many cuts made to public services.
All that is by-the-by now, because HSBC have said sorry, which makes absolutely everything right and proper in the world. God bless every one of them.