Parliamentary inquiry into banking gets underway
Thursday 26 July 2012
The parliamentary inquiry into banking got under way in earnest today, with a call for written evidence on ethics and standards in the industry.
The Parliamentary Commission on Banking Standards, chaired by Conservative MP Andrew Tyrie, was established by Prime Minister David Cameron earlier this month to look into issues arising from the Barclays Libor rate-fixing scandal.
It held its first formal meeting behind closed doors in Westminster on Tuesday, and agreed to request urgent evidence on the shortcomings in banking culture and possible legislative measures to address them.
Mr Tyrie warned that "almost everyone is agreed that standards in banking have lapsed", and that banks need to reform their culture and practices if they are to regain the trust of the British public.
The committee has been asked to report on proposals for legislative action no later than December 18, and they today asked for written evidence to be submitted if possible by August 24, though it is understood that later submissions will be accepted.
It is expected that the committee will wait until after August 24 to begin questioning witnesses at evidence sessions held in public, though no final decision has yet been taken on whether they will meet again during Westminster's summer break, which lasts until September 3.
Anyone with an interest in banking standards can respond to today's call for written evidence, and it is expected that submissions will be received from major banks and industry regulators.
The Commission is asking for comments on:
:: Whether professional standards are "absent or defective" in UK banking, compared to other countries and industries and to the City of past eras.
:: What consequences there have been for consumers and the economy and for public trust in the banks.
:: Whether shortcomings in standards were caused by factors including the culture of risk-taking, globalisation, global regulatory arbitrage, financial innovation, new technology, corporate structures, lack of competition or the impact of different tax treatment for debt and equity.
:: What weaknesses there are in the role of shareholders, creditor discipline and incentives, corporate governance, compliance, internal audits, remuneration incentives, recruitment and retention, arrangements for whistle-blowing, external audit and accounting standards, regulation and the corporate legal framework.
:: What should be done on a corporate, regulatory or legislative level to address any weaknesses.
:: Whether changes already proposed by the Government, regulators and the industry are sufficient to deal with the scale of the problems.
Mr Tyrie said: "Banks should exist to support their customers, both retail and wholesale. Some of these customers have been badly let down.
"Almost everyone is agreed that standards in banking have lapsed. Today, the Parliamentary Commission on Banking Standards has issued a call for written evidence.
"We need evidence to gauge both the scale of the problem and to identify likely remedies.
"By reforming the culture and practices that have so clearly failed their customers - and by being seen to be making such changes - banks can begin the process of regaining the trust of the British public.
"This is vital if they are to play a significant role in the UK's economic recovery and future growth.
"Moreover, the hundreds of thousands of people working honestly and for the benefit of their customers whose reputations have been unfairly impugned by the recent scandals may once again be able to take pride in the institutions they work for."
Missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370: Wreckage could be found within a week as search reaches 'very critical juncture', says minister
The man they forgot to lock up: Mike Anderson was sentenced to 13 years in jail, but the police never came
Unbeliebable: The White House offer 'no comment' to anti-Justin Bieber petition
Loch Ness Monster found on Apple Maps?
South Korea ferry disaster: Families watch as remains of Sewol victims returned to shore
The food poverty scandal that shames Britain: Nearly 1m people rely on handouts to eat – and benefit reforms may be to blame
Scottish independence: It is the English who should be on their knees, begging the Scots to vote ‘No’
'Sinful': Video of British Muslims dancing to Pharrell Williams's hit Happy comes under attack
Nigel Farage: I’m taking on the status quo, and the Establishment’s fighting back
An open letter to Nigel Farage: you may smile, but I am not seduced
Abdullah Deghayes: My son was the martyr of a just cause, says father of British teenager killed in Syria conflict
- 1 Easter egg hunt horror as mother finds dead body under deck of house
- 2 A bottle of wine a day is not bad for you and abstaining is worse than drinking, scientist claims
- 3 Unbeliebable: The White House offer 'no comment' to anti-Justin Bieber petition
- 4 Loch Ness Monster found on Apple Maps?
- 5 Shropshire criminals ‘using unmanned drones and infrared cameras to find illegal cannabis farms’ – and then steal from the growers
iJobs Money & Business
Negotiable: Harrington Starr: Database Team Lead ( Leadership, Sybase, Compute...
£40000 - £50000 per annum + Bonus+Benefits+Package: Harrington Starr: C#.NET D...
£25000 - £35000 per annum + Bonus+Benefits+Package: Harrington Starr: VB.NET S...
£45000 - £55000 per annum + Bonus and Benefits: Harrington Starr: Trade Suppor...