There were a few to choose from.
How about the trial of UBS rogue trader Kweku Adoboli, the man who racked up $2.3bn in losses before anyone noticed (in fact, no-one appeared to really understand what was going on until Adoboli sent in his explanatory email) ? Nope, it's not that.
The insider trading scandal that allegedly implicates a number of former employees at SAC Capital Advisors ? No, not that either.
Was it Goldman's Greg Smith and his New York Times resignation OpEd ? Hardly.
Then there was Standard Chartered, which paid $667m in all to settle claims that it 'schemed with the government of Iran and hid from regulators roughly 60,000 secret transactions.....and reap(ed)...hundreds of millions of dollars in fees. (The bank's) actions(allegedly) left the US financial system vulnerable to terrorists, weapons dealers, drug kingpins and corrupt regimes, and deprived law enforcement investigators of crucial information used to track all manner of criminal activity'.
But, no, that wasn't the biggest banking PR disaster this year.
What about HSBC's $1.9bn payment to settle money-laundering claims - the bank was branded as being ‘pervasively polluted’ by the US Senate for its failure to control illicit money flows, and a report from the Senate’s Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations condemned the bank for allegedly exposing the U.S. financial system to money laundering, drug trafficking and terrorist financing. Nope, not that either.
Yep, the winner of the 2012 Biggest Banking PR Disaster goes to......
Jamie Dimon, the CEO of JPMorgan Chase, who, in April, famously described the media attention on the big bets taken by a trader known as the 'London Whale' in the bank's Chief Investment Office in London, as 'a complete tempest in a teapot'. In the end, JPMorgan ended up losing $6.2bn because of the trades.