Ed Miliband MP, Leader of the Labour Party, writing in the Sunday Mirror today, said:
Britain is right to feel angry at the appalling behaviour at some of our banks.
In the past few days we have heard how interest rates were rigged to inflate their profits. And how small businesses were ripped off by banks selling insurance schemes they did not need.
After the MPs’ expenses scandal, we saw change.
After the abuses by the press, we’ve got an inquiry.
Now the same has to happen at our banks.
We need to find out exactly what has happened because this cannot be swept under the carpet by politicians and their friends in the City.
Most working in financial services do a good job but quite clearly responsibility for these abuses goes beyond just a few rogue traders.
That is why Labour is calling for an independent public inquiry into the institutional corruption at Britain’s banks.
We need to ensure that those who have broken the rules feel the full force of the law. If prison sentences are appropriate for people looting a few pounds worth of goods from shops, they should also apply to bankers found to have plundered millions.
We also need better competition. It’s wrong that just a handful of traders have so much power they can rig interest rates. We must help new banks challenge the Big Four. And we need a new code of conduct to restore confidence in the banking system so we can build an economy which can work for working people.
Every banker should act with honesty and integrity.
If they don’t they should be struck off and never allowed to work in the industry again.
It is great that the Sunday Mirror is today launching its own campaign to clean up the system.
We cannot allow a powerful, privileged few to act as if they are operating under entirely different rules.
And it is time for David Cameron’s out-of-touch Tory-led government to stop wringing its hands and show some leadership on this issue.