Speaking at the Conservative conference in Birmingham on Monday, Osborne said that the Government must bear its full share of responsibility for the banking crisis and said there had been “terrible failures of regulation” but that ultimately it was bankers who were responsible.
He said: “In the end, the failures of the banking industry are the failings of the bankers. Perhaps there are some market ideologues who think that the money men can do no wrong. But I tell you this right now – I am not one of them.”
Osborne said his party would not engage in “knee-jerk” attacks on the financial services sector but he sounded a stark warning to City bosses. He said: “If you take risks, then you must bear the cost. If you pay yourself sums far beyond what anyone else does in any other walk of life, then be prepared to lose it when you make mistakes. If you pay out big dividends when you should be rebuilding balance sheets, then you will be held to account.”
Osborne also warned Prime Minister Gordon Brown not to blame the Conservatives for capitalism’s worst excesses.
He said : “Gordon, you won’t get away with blaming us for casino capitalism when you are the man who has been running the casino and collecting in the chips for the last 11 years.”