Speeches sourced from the Labour party’s online archive More…

Chris Leslie MP, Labour's Shadow Financial Secretary to the Treasury, responding to RBS' results, said:

“The timing of the return of RBS to the private sector is a decision for Ministers, but it must be based on the best long-term interests of the taxpayer not driven by George Osborne's short-term political timetables.

“As Ed Balls said in 2011, any profits from the sale of government shares in the banks should be used to repay the national debt. That is the fiscally responsible thing to do.

“RBS must continue its work of restructuring, but people will be astounded that bonuses of £600m are being paid out in a year of big losses, compensation payments for mis-selling and fines for Libor fixing.

“We need radical change in the culture of our banks and that must include reining in bloated bonuses which are a device for keeping traders focused on the weeks ahead, rather than years ahead. It shouldn't take the European Union to rein in excessive bonuses, but UK Ministers have dragged their feet and refused to act.

“The Budget should announce a repeat of Labour's tax on bank bonuses to fund jobs for young people out of work. And we need radical reform of our banks for the future, which George Osborne continues to duck.”

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