UK prime minister announces review of UK banking industry
David Cameron has announced a parliamentary review of the UK banking sector in a climate of immense public anger at the rate fixing scandal allegedly affecting a number of UK banks – including some the taxpayer was required to bail out.
Cameron (pictured) said the review would make sure the UK had the “toughest and most transparent rules of any major financial sector. Bankers who have acted improperly should be punished.”
But his Labour counterpart Ed Miliband said the review did not go far enough, and advocated an inquiry independent of both bankers and politicians.
It is understood the investigation will be led by a cross-party UK parliamentary committee.
The announcement came after a number of banks came under investigation for trying to manipulate, between 2005 and 2009, the interest rates banks pay to lend between one another in the UK and Europe.
Barclays has been fined £290m for the scandal, and a number of other banks are being investigated.
Cameron called the whole affair a “scandal”.
The UK Serious Fraud Office is considering lodging criminal charges over the attempted manipulation.
Barclays’ chief executive Bob Diamond has told staff he would “get to the bottom” of what happened.
Miliband added his voice to those calling for Diamond to resign.
Diamond is due to appear before parliamentarians on Wednesday.
His bank has said it will undertake “a root and branch review” of its “flawed” past practices; report publicly its findings; and introduce an obligatory code of conduct for its staff.
Other banks under investigation in the UK include RBS, HSBC, Citigroup and UBS.