Treasury select committee chair Andrew Tyrie has called for bankers who are guilty of wrongdoing to be put in “orange jump suits” to act as a deterrent in a strengthening of the criminal law.
Speaking at a CityUK fringe event on financial services at the Conservative conference in Birmingham today, Tyrie said it is “astonishing” that no one has been prosecuted in the banking sector in light of recent scandals.
The FSA review into Libor by managing director Martin Wheatley, published last month, called for criminal sanctions for those guilty of Libor rigging and the Government is currently considering the proposals.
Tyrie said: “We must strengthen the law, particularly the criminal law. We cannot find ourselves in a position where it seems that serious misdemeanours have been conducted but nobody is culpable enough to be prosecuted.
“It is an astonishing state of affairs and it seems so unlikely that nobody was responsible for this, so there must be gaps in the criminal law that need to be addressed and I will also be looking at that.
“There is a good principle of law, where crimes are difficult to uncover and on the rare occasions you do succeed in uncovering them, you make sure culpability lies with the right person and maybe what you do need is to get the old, orange jump suit on that individual to discourage the others. Maybe that is where we are going to have to go with the criminal law.”
Treasury economic secretary Sajid Javid said: “Martin Wheatley recommends there should be a serious look at criminal sanctions for behaviour. We have not made up our mind but it is sensible to look at it as it does exist in the United States and other markets.”