Banks should not be allowed to wash their hands of failings - Kramer

December 14, 2015 11:09 AM
Originally published by UK Liberal Democrats

This week Liberal Democrat peers will seek to defeat the Government over plans water down banker accountability.

The Liberal Democrats are aiming to stop the Conservative plan to reverse 'the burden of proof' rule that was implemented in the last Parliament by Vince Cable.

The rule, which is due to come into force in March, is triggered when banks are under investigation and had the unanimous backing from the Commission on Banking Standards. The rule forces senior executives to prove they took every step possible to ensure staff behaved ethically and responsibly, rather than regulators having to prove otherwise. Ignorance of malpractice would no longer be a justifiable response.

Liberal Democrat Peers Baroness Susan Kramer and Lord John Sharkey tabled an amendment during the Committee Stage of the 'Bank of England and Financial Services Bill', which will return for an expected vote tomorrow [Tuesday].

Liberal Democrat Economic Spokesperson, Baroness Susan Kramer said:

"It beggars belief that the Government is planning to water down rules to hold top bankers to account.

"It is as if they have already forgotten about the 2008 crash, Libor fixing or any one of the other scandals that cost the taxpayer billions.

"This is an outrageous decision from George Osborne who has clearly buckled to pressure from his friends in the banks. He should be focussing on ways to protect British people, not protecting high fliers in the city.

"Senior managers in our banks should not be allowed to wash their hands of failings. Ignorance is not an excuse when our economy and British livelihoods are on the line."