Professional Standards in the Banking Industry (No. 2)

Business without Debate — Supply and Appropriation (Main Estimates) Bill – in the House of Commons at 5:28 pm on 5th July 2012.

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Votes in this debate

Motion made, and Question put,

That, in the opinion of this House, a joint committee of the two Houses ought to be established into professional standards in the banking industry.—(Sir George Young.)

The House divided:

Ayes 330, Noes 226.

Division number 45 Business without Debate — Supply and Appropriation (Main Estimates) Bill — Professional Standards in the Banking Industry (No. 2)

Aye: 330 MPs

No: 226 MPs

Ayes: A-Z by last name

Tellers

Nos: A-Z by last name

Tellers

Question accordingly agreed to.

Photo of Edward Balls Edward Balls Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer

On a point of order, Mr Deputy Speaker. The Government have won their vote. The Chair of the Treasury Committee will now chair a narrow inquiry based on the remit that he set out in the House this afternoon. The Opposition respect the hon. Gentleman and will work with him, but we have some real concerns about the membership and secretariat of the Joint Committee, which we hope he will address.

This afternoon’s debate, and particularly the devastating interventions of the Attorney-General, exposed serious questions about the scope of the inquiry—[Interruption.]

Photo of Nigel Evans Nigel Evans Deputy Speaker (First Deputy Chairman of Ways and Means)

Order. The House must listen to this point of order in silence.

Photo of Edward Balls Edward Balls Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer

It is clear that there is a wider set of questions, on matters from mis-selling to small businesses to the wider culture and practices of the banking industry, that are outside the scope of the inquiry set out by the Chair of the Treasury Committee and, in our view, cannot be properly addressed by any parliamentary

Committee. In our view, the case for a full, open, judge-led public inquiry is stronger at the end of this afternoon, and we will continue to press that case.

It is our view that the Chancellor and the Prime Minister have made a grave error of judgment, and any time future scandals emerge, people will ask why we in this country are not having the full, independent public inquiry that our country needs.

Photo of George Osborne George Osborne The Chancellor of the Exchequer

Further to that point of order, Mr Deputy Speaker. I welcome the Opposition’s agreement in principle, as I take it, to take part in a joint parliamentary inquiry into what has happened. I suggest that the usual channels now work on the membership of that inquiry and that the Front-Bench teams and my hon. Friend Mr Tyrie discuss any concerns that Opposition Front Benchers have about resourcing, the secretariat and so on. What everyone now wants to do is get a resolution that all parties can agree on, which we can bring to the House before it rises, so that we can get the Joint Committee up and running, get to the bottom of what went wrong in our banking industry and with the LIBOR scandal, and make the changes needed to legislation to ensure that it never happens again. I would welcome the Opposition’s support in doing that.

Photo of Andrew Tyrie Andrew Tyrie Chair, Treasury Sub-Committee, Chair, Treasury Committee, Chair, Treasury Committee

Further to that point of order, Mr Deputy Speaker. I think the whole House, and actually the whole country, will welcome the engagement that appears to be taking place across the Dispatch Boxes. I reiterate that I will do whatever the House asks me to do, but I believe it is worth my trying to chair the Committee only if it has the full support of all the major parties in the House of Commons.

Photo of Nigel Evans Nigel Evans Deputy Speaker (First Deputy Chairman of Ways and Means)

I am grateful for all three points of order, and the Chair has nothing to add.