1 JUNE 1991, Page 24

Short memories

Sir: Christopher Fildes's tribute to James Keogh does eloquent justice to his mem- ory. He was a true friend to the Discount Market, and in fact the best friend that we ever had.

He was indeed most wrongly pilloried for the London & Counties affair.

The Discount Market in Jim's day was the light cavalry in any banking crisis always in the forefront, and often suffering heavy casualties. So it was in the fringe bank affair.

Earlier that year, the discount houses, and mine in particular, had suffered hor- rendous losses. Without Jim's support and guidance we could not have survived. The Market as a whole was facing the prospects of a crash such has not been seen since Overend Gurney in 1866.

Jim had given a clear signal to the Market, that as long as Donald Bardsley, chief executive of L & C, was at the helm then all was well. If he were to resign 'then watch out!'

Memories are short, and City morality has suffered. In Jim's time at the Discount Office we were experiencing the conse- quencies of 'Competition & Credit Con- trol' — which could be described as the father of 'Big Bang'. Some of the players then are still around today, having saved their own skins. Many who were then poachers have since become gamekeepers. David Whitby

Martlet Management Consultants Ltd, 9 Lansdowne Road, Muswell Hill, London N10