Opposition Day — [17th Allotted Day] — Banking

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 12:47 pm on 15th January 2014.

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Photo of Chris Leslie Chris Leslie Shadow Chief Secretary to the Treasury 12:47 pm, 15th January 2014

There is a touch of revisionism from Government Members, but perhaps that is a bit generous; their attempt to rewrite history is breathtaking. I have no doubt that when the Minister speaks my hon. Friends will hear a complacent desire just to move on from banking reform and a desperation to make party political points about the history of the banking crisis. They will try, with all their might, to pretend that it was Labour’s spending on schools and hospitals that caused a global recession in dozens of countries worldwide, but my hon. Friends will not hear from him about how the banks must still be made to pay for their egregious and scandalous abuses and over-leveraged trades in sub-prime mortgage securities.

All sense that the banks must be held accountable for the state we are in has been airbrushed from the Government’s narrative, because they want to blame their political opponents rather than upset their corporate friends. Perhaps the Minister likes to turn a blind eye, in the knowledge that it really was the banks that were responsible for the global financial crisis, or perhaps he has now genuinely convinced himself that it was primarily the fault of Governments and that the banks were only a little bit to blame. Either way, they have the wrong analysis, which explains why they have the wrong policies. By failing to tackle the root causes of recent economic devastation and the deficit that built up as a result, they are maintaining the risk that banks could once again turn to the taxpayer to bail them out, should they fail again. Never again must the taxpayer pick up the losses for the reckless behaviour of banks, and never again must our economy and public services be thrown into such turmoil because of the negligence and monumental greed of banking executives and traders.