Leaked HBOS report increases pressure for full public inquiry for banking sector

My recent revelations of new evidence of another banking scandal at HBOS adds fresh impetus to the push for a full public inquiry into concerns raised against banks who mistreated thousands of their customers. The report, which I revealed to Parliament in a speech in the Commons, includes damning accusations made against individuals within the bank. It alleges that they were aware of fraud prior to the takeover by Lloyds in 2008 and the £14 billion Lloyds and HBOS rights issues.

I have written previously about the thousands of businesses who have been mistreated by banks, which in too many instances have led to the loss of years of hard work and sacrifice made by small business owners and their staff.

During a parliamentary debate on banking misconduct and the FCA, I called for a new primary dispute resolution mechanism, potentially in the form of a financial services tribunal. This dispute resolution mechanism should also set aside the statute of limitations so that people who have suffered years of injustice are offered a form of redress.

Finance is crucial to business growth and small businesses are the backbone of our economy. Systematic misconduct, highlighted by numerous scandals since the financial crash, has damaged the trust that businesses placed in the banking sector.

The subject of RBS and its Global Restructuring Group, whose actions affected tens of thousands of businesses around the UK, was debated in the House earlier this year. Problems in the banking sector are not restricted to RBS but also include Lloyds, HBOS and others.

There are serious questions that the regulator, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), needs to answer, particularly about how it intends to hold individuals to account through phase 2 of its inquiry and about the reasons for the fundamental difference in tone and substance between the conclusions of the full report and those of its summary.

I shall continue to fight for justice for the thousands of people who were mistreated by banks, especially those who live in my constituency. I shall also continue to work with the Treasury, the Treasury Select Committee, businesses and the banking sector through the work done by the All Party Parliamentary Group on Fair Business Banking, which I co-chair. These people deserve justice and it is our job to make sure that justice is done.

The debate can be read in full here: https://goo.gl/Nvkqof