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Ed Balls MP, Labour’s Shadow Chancellor, commenting on the government’s response to the Parliamentary Commission on Banking Standards, said:

“George Osborne is continuing to duck the radical banking reform we need. He is still refusing to implement the Parliamentary Commission’s recommendation of a backstop power that would allow for full separation of all the banks, not just one or two, if ring-fencing proves ineffective.

“And while the Chancellor’s support for the Commission’s proposals on issues like criminal penalties for reckless misconduct is welcome, it’s disappointing that he has failed to table amendments in time for this week’s debate on the Banking Reform Bill.

“Following the multi-billion pound fall in the value of the taxpayer’s stake in RBS in recent weeks George Osborne should now accept Labour’s calls for the Treasury to publish a report on how the best interests of the taxpayer will be protected before the government sells its stakes in the banks. And he should heed our calls for changes to the Bank of England to address flaws in their objectives, accountability and crisis management following the recent reforms.

“Over the coming months we will continue to press the government to deliver the full backstop power Labour and the Commission have called for and we will closely scrutinise the government’s amendments, when they are eventually published, to ensure there is no further watering down of the reforms we need."

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