David Cameron launches bank rate scandal investigation

 

David Cameron today launched a full parliamentary inquiry into the rate-rigging scandal amid a wave of criticism of British banking.

The Prime Minister batted away calls for a Leveson-style inquiry into the issues, insisting he wanted to reach the truth quickly.

The comments, in a statement to MPs, came after Barclays boss Bob Diamond admitted he was disappointed that the rate-rigging scandal happened on his watch.

However, he signalled that he would fight for his job, saying he wanted to "make sure that it cannot happen again".

Barclays chairman Marcus Agius resigned this morning and announced an internal review into the bank's "flawed" practices.

Mr Cameron said the Serious Fraud Office were looking at whether any criminal prosecutions could be brought.

He went on: "I want us to establish a full parliamentary committee of inquiry involving both Houses chaired by the Chairman of the House of Commons Treasury Select Committee.

"This inquiry will take evidence under oath have full access to papers, officials and Ministers - including Ministers and Special advisers from the last government and it will be given, by the government, all the resources it needs to do its job properly."

Mr Cameron added: "This is the right approach because it will be able to start immediately it will be accountable to this House and it will get to the truth quickly, so we can make sure this can never happen again.

Labour leader Ed Miliband told MPs vowed to continue pushing for a "full and open" independent inquiry.

"I'm not convinced by his way forward because I do not believe it measures up to the scale of what is required," he said.

Mr Miliband told the Commons the only way to rebuild trust in the banking system was with a full, independent inquiry.

"However able or distinguished, politicians investigating bankers will not command the consent of the British people," he said.

"People are understandably angry about the way their banks let them down and I don't believe the proposed way forward is the way we can build the consensus that is required for change."

The Labour leader said there had already been a number of reports by parliamentary committees into the banking crisis.

"I appreciate the Leveson inquiry has been uncomfortable for all sides but that's the way it should be," he added. "We will continue to argue for a full and open inquiry, independent of bankers and independent of politicians."

Labour is pressing ahead with its demands for a full public inquiry, and hopes to secure a vote in the House of Lords tomorrow, said a senior party source.

The source declined to say whether Labour would boycott the parliamentary probe if it was unable to secure a public inquiry, but said the party would not "play student politics".

Responding to Mr Cameron's announcement, the Labour source said: "This isn't good enough. The public will not accept an investigation by politicians into bankers.

"There have been select committee reports before into banking. They don't seem to have solved the problems.

"We are not giving up on our demand for a full public inquiry."

The parliamentary inquiry will have powers to summon witnesses and take evidence under oath and will be given access to official papers, Mr Cameron's official spokesman said. It will be expected to sit in public.

Discussions have already taken place over what assistance can be offered by Treasury officials and Government lawyers during its investigations.

"The key thing is that they have the powers to get hold of any information they need to get hold of and that they have the resources they need to be able to do their job effectively," said the spokesman.

"We are all agreed that it is important that the committee has the powers it needs, the information it needs, the resources it needs to be able to do a thorough job. We need to make sure that the committee can access all the papers it needs to be able to do its job properly."

The precise timetable for the inquiry - including the question of whether it will sit through Parliament's summer recess - will be a matter for its chairman, Treasury Committee chair Andrew Tyrie, said the spokesman.

But he added: "Our objective is to get cracking as quickly as possible and progress so that we can feed in any conclusions to the legislation that is due to be introduced a the start of next year."

TUC general secretary Brendan Barber said: "The Government's reluctant conversion to a new parliamentary inquiry into banking is a welcome recognition of public anger, but still falls short of a proper judge-led inquiry immune from the party politics and lobbying that surround any parliamentary process. That is why we need Leveson to deal with media barons, and something similar to deal with over-mighty bankers.

"The inquiry should not be judged on the number of heads that roll but whether it leads to the root and branch reforms that the banks have successfully lobbied against for years.

"The fact is banks stopped servicing the UK economy properly long before the crash. We need a banking sector that does far more of its core job - supporting consumers and businesses - and far less of the socially-useless financial wizardry that got us into this mess."

PA

PROMOTED VIDEO
Arts and Entertainment
tv
News
Katie Hopkins appearing on 'This Morning' after she purposefully put on 4 stone.
peopleKatie Hopkins breaks down in tears over weight gain challenge
Life and Style
fashionModel of the moment shoots for first time with catwalk veteran
Life and Style
fashionAngelina Jolie's wedding dressed revealed
Sport
Alexis Sanchez, Radamel Falcao, Diego Costa and Mario Balotelli
footballRadamel Falcao and Diego Costa head record £835m influx
News
i100
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Arts and Entertainment
Madame Vastra and Jenny Flint kiss in Doctor Who episode 'Deep Breath'
tv
Arts and Entertainment
Olivia Colman topped the list of the 30 most influential females in broadcasting
tv
Life and Style
techIf those brochure kitchens look a little too perfect to be true, well, that’s probably because they are
Arts and Entertainment
Danish director Lars von Trier
tvEnglish-language series with 'huge' international cast set for 2016
Life and Style
tech
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Executive Assistant/Events Coordinator - Old Street, London

£35000 - £38000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: Executive Assistant/Event...

HR Generalist (standalone) - Tunbridge Wells - £32,000

£30000 - £32000 per annum: Ashdown Group: HR Generalist (standalone) - Tunbrid...

Derivatives Risk Commodities Business Analyst /Market Risk

£600 - £800 per day: Harrington Starr: Derivatives Risk Commodities Business A...

Power & Gas Business Analyst / Subject Matter Expert - Contract

£600 - £800 per day: Harrington Starr: Power & Gas Business Analyst/Subject Ma...

Day In a Page

'I’ll tell you what I would not serve - lamb and potatoes': US ambassador hits out at stodgy British food served at diplomatic dinners

'I’ll tell you what I would not serve - lamb and potatoes'

US ambassador hits out at stodgy British food
Radio Times female powerlist: A 'revolution' in TV gender roles

A 'revolution' in TV gender roles

Inside the Radio Times female powerlist
Endgame: James Frey's literary treasure hunt

James Frey's literary treasure hunt

Riddling trilogy could net you $3m
Fitbit: Because the tingle feels so good

Fitbit: Because the tingle feels so good

What David Sedaris learnt about the world from his fitness tracker
Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb

Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb

Second-holiest site in Islam attracts millions of pilgrims each year
Alexander Fury: The designer names to look for at fashion week this season

The big names to look for this fashion week

This week, designers begin to show their spring 2015 collections in New York
Will Self: 'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

Will Self takes aim at Orwell's rules for writing plain English
Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Toy guns proving a popular diversion in a country flooded with the real thing
Al Pacino wows Venice

Al Pacino wows Venice

Ham among the brilliance as actor premieres two films at festival
Neil Lawson Baker interview: ‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.

Neil Lawson Baker interview

‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.
The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

Wife of President Robert Mugabe appears to have her sights set on succeeding her husband
The model of a gadget launch: Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed

The model for a gadget launch

Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed
Alice Roberts: She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

Alice Roberts talks about her new book on evolution - and why her early TV work drew flak from (mostly male) colleagues
Get well soon, Joan Rivers - an inspiration, whether she likes it or not

Get well soon, Joan Rivers

She is awful. But she's also wonderful, not in spite of but because of the fact she's forever saying appalling things, argues Ellen E Jones
Doctor Who Into the Dalek review: A classic sci-fi adventure with all the spectacle of a blockbuster

A fresh take on an old foe

Doctor Who Into the Dalek more than compensated for last week's nonsensical offering