An investigation into dodgy dealings by fatcat bankers has been quietly axed.
The decision by the Financial Conduct Authority, has sparked outrage and has been labeled a “a huge blow for taxpayers” and “a slap in the face for ordinary people”.
The investigation was dumped as the FCA said other measures were in place to tackle wrongdoing, but many see Osborne’s decision to sack the head of the FCA for wanting to be too tough on bankers as a critical reason.
The Mirror reports:
Early in 2015 the FCA announced plans to review banking’s culture.
But now the idea has been dumped after the watchdog claimed other measures had come into force to clamp down on wrongdoers. The about-face comes after Chancellor George Osborne was accused of ousting FCA boss Martin Wheatley for being too tough on banks.
Labour MP John Mann called dumping the review “unacceptable”, adding: “As far as we know the culture hasn’t changed.”
Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell said: “This will be a huge blow to customers and taxpayers who are all still paying the price for the failed culture in banking.”
Tory MP Mark Garnier, who sits on the Treasury select committee, questioned what pressure the Treasury had placed on the FCA. The FCA insisted the Treasury had “no involvement” in its decision.
Lib Dem leader Tim Farron said: “Cosy decisions between the banks and politicians and a toothless regulator lead us to one of the biggest financial crashes in living memory.”
David Hillman, of the Robin Hood Tax campaign, added: “This is a slap in the face for ordinary people whose interests have once again been tossed aside.”
Big banks have been hit with billions of fines for wrongdoing, including £26billion for the PPI scandal alone and further big penalties are expected.
But only last week it emerged that five of the world’s biggest investment banks had used clever accounting to pay no UK corporation tax last year.