Bank probe must not be a witch hunt, says Tyrie


The MP who would lead a parliamentary inquiry into banking practices today said an investigation “must not be a witch hunt”.

Treasury select committee chairman Andrew Tyrie said he was honoured to be picked for the role, but repeated his demand for the missing cross-party support.

He added: "If colleagues cross the House, and I mean right across the House - and that includes the front benches - want me to do this work, I will do everything possible to make an inquiry of this type work in order to clear up this scandal."

Speaking during the debate on whether a parliamentary or judge-led probe should take place, the Conservative MP said Barclays' rigging of the Libor key interest rate was "shocking; the worst case of City malpractice I can recall".

He outlined his conditions for accepting the position of chairing an inquiry, calling for "tightly-drawn and forward looking" terms of reference.

Mr Tyrie said: "This cannot be a witch hunt.

"An exhaustive, inquisitorial committee of inquiry, whether in or out of Parliament, into the respective roles and responsibilities for mistakes of ministers, civil servants, the Bank of England, regulators and commercial banks would do more for the history books than the quality of legislation.

"The job of the joint committee must be on how to get one part of the Banking Reform Bill in better shape and in quick time."

He added: "Public confidence in banking in Britain is now very low.

"This is bad for Britain in so many ways and it's particularly unfair on the hundreds and thousands of hard-working and trustworthy people in the financial services industry who do great work for this country and who have done nothing wrong and now found themselves impugned by implication."