Speaking in London this morning, Cameron said the Government was primarily responsible for the economic crisis, but said that recklessness and poor decision-making in the City should be investigated and punished.
Cameron said the US authorities are ensuring “no stone is left unturned” in their search to uncover possible mortgage fraud, insider trading and misinformation in the financial markets, and the UK should be following suit.
He said the fact our Prime Minister is not pursuing financial wrongdoing to the same extent is “a failure of moral leadership”.
Cameron said it is crucial that the FSA has the “teeth to do its job properly”, highlighting the lack of prosecutions in the UK, and repeated the Conservative’s call for an increased levy on the City to pay for high quality supervisory staff, as well as secondments of staff from the banking sector to support the regulator.
The prosecution of Enron management and Nick Leeson in the Baring’s bank affair both serve as examples of how punishment can act as a deterrent to financial crime, he said.
Cameron said: “The US response has been clear. To root out any wrongdoing, and punish it proportionately.
“Our response has not been so clear. There seems to be neither the will – nor the means – to bring those who may be responsible for wrongdoing to account, despite the fact it is scarcely plausible that the things that happened in America did not happen here.”
He added: “… When I see working people paying through their taxes to bail out a banking industry which as imploded under the weight of its own irresponsibility, I believe we owe it to them to investigate thoroughly what exactly happened in this financial crisis and to do all we can to stop it happening again.”