In an angry exchange of letters, Andrew Tyrie, the head of one of Parliament's most powerful committees, describes the decision by Angela Knight, the head of the British Bankers' Association, not to appear before or to respond to the committee's inquiry into competition in the industry as "incomprehensible".
As Treasury Select Committee chairman, Mr Tyrie wrote to Ms Knight in November, for a second time, requesting that she and the BBA appear or respond in writing to the TSC's latest inquiry into Competition and Choice in the Banking Sector, to answer questions on the industry. He wrote: "Those who follow the [TSC's] work will find it incomprehensible that the BBA should have abdicated its representative role."
This was in response to a letter from Ms Knight dated 3 November which set out why the BBA "did not feel that it was able to respond to the questions to which the TSC was seeking answers due to competition issues".
A spokesman for the BBA said it was concerned that evidence given to the committee might affect BBA members. But the BBA has given evidence to the Independent Commission on Banking, which publishes its interim report tomorrow, and which will propose one of the biggest banking shake-ups for decades.