David Prosser: The wrong scapegoat for the PPI scandal

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Outlook The fall-out from the payment protection insurance scandal rumbles on: talk in the City yesterday was all about who should be the fall guy for an affair that looks set to cost the banking sector anywhere between £6bn and £10bn.

Actually, make that fall girl, for it seems the knives are out for Angela Knight, chief executive of the British Bankers' Association, the industry body which until Tuesday was leading the legal battle against the regulatory rulings on PPI compensation.

Let's give the banks their dues. Even by the standards of an industry hardly known for taking responsibility for its actions, forcing Ms Knight out would be an act of extraordinary chutzpah. Are those senior bankers now briefing against her really saying that the head of the industry's trade association, whose members instructed her to take the FSA to court, should carry the can for this scandal, rather than the directors of the banks who encouraged their sales teams to flog duff insurance to as many as 4 million people?

It is not the BBA which has landed the banks with this gargantuan bill for mis-selling. The industry has only its own incompetence to blame. So by all means conduct an inquest into whether the BBA's legal case was a misjudgement – but only on completion of the inquiries into how staff were allowed systematically to rip off millions of customers for so long.

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