MPs vote for bank standards inquiry
MPs have agreed to set up a Parliamentary Commission on Banking Standards to investigate the Libor rigging scandal.
Commons Leader Sir George Young said the commission, which will sit through the summer recess and report by December 18 in time for the Government to include any of its recommendations in its Banking Reform Bill, will be able to appoint legal counsel to cross-examine witnesses.
He said: "We have in this Parliament the skills, expertise and mandate to do the job. I am confident in this new commission to rise to the challenges that confront us and address the central issue at stake, restoring confidence in the UK banking industry."
MPs voted through the plan for the commission unopposed and it will be agreed later by peers.
The commission, which will be led by Treasury Select Committee chairman Andrew Tyrie, comes after traders at Barclays rigged Libor, the interest rate at which banks lend to each other, in order to profit from deals.
Shadow Commons leader Angela Eagle said Labour now supported the inquiry after initially opposing it in favour of a judge-led investigation.
Speaking in the debate, Ms Eagle said: "Having emphasised once again our belief that we need a judge-led inquiry, we are happy given that vote was lost to co-operate with the (parliamentary) inquiry and we will watch its progress with interest."
Tory MP Richard Fuller (Bedford) said prosecutions must come out of the inquiry.
He told the Commons: "Criminal prosecutions are an essential part of cleansing our financial services sector and sending us forward to ensure the City can reassert itself and its reputation, not only in the eyes of the world, but in the eyes of the British people."
Labour MP John Mann (Bassetlaw), who was excluded from the committee, said he was worried the committee would report too soon to investigate other elements to the scandal yet to emerge. He said: "My point on this is that it is a moving feast. The problem with a moving feast is that to set time limits when one doesn't know what is going to be happening next."