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Think tank slams politicians’ role in banking inquiry

A think tank is calling for an independent judicial inquiry into banking standards, saying politicians are part of the problem with the sector.

The New Economics Foundation argues the parliamentary commission on banking standards will not be trusted and is akin to an internal company inquiry.

The commission is being led by Treasury Select Committee chair Andrew Tyrie with nine other members drawn from the House of Commons and Lords.

New Economics Foundation head of finance and business Tony Greenham says: “The idea that you can restore public trust in banks through an investigation led by the next least trusted people – politicians – is nonsense.

“The regulators and the Government have been part of the problem with banking in this country so it is of no more value than a bank’s own internal investigation.”

Greenham says there are more scandals lurking in the banking sector requiring further inquiries and expects a judge-led inquiry to be launched in the next two years.

But Telos Solutions director Richard Farr favours a short, sharp inquiry rather than one similar to the Leveson inquiry into press standards, which has been ongoing for more than a year.

He says: “We need to get the evidence, some candour and then flush out the bad elements rather than have it go on and on, which would just put the rest of the world off doing business in London.”

The inquiry is calling for written submissions and will take oral evidence when parliament resumes in September. It will report to parliament no later than December 18.

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  1. it started in the mid 1980’s – having taken so long, it cannot be sorted out in a short sharp shot – all power to Tony Greenham

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