10 questions Labour must answer on LIBOR
Commenting on the emerging facts around LIBOR fixing in the financial system, SNP Treasury spokesman Stewart Hosie MP said:
“What we need is full transparency from the Labour party and from the Financial Services Authority.
“Alistair Darling was Chancellor, Gordon Brown was both Chancellor and Prime Minister and Ed Balls was economic secretary to the Treasury during the time LIBOR fixing was going on.
“The question is what exactly did Mr Darling, Mr Brown and Mr Balls know and when? And what were the regulators doing over a three-and-a-half year period?
“Were Darling and his colleagues asleep at the wheel or did they know what was going on yet fail to take any action?
"The consequences of LIBOR fixing for the economy are almost endless particularly in the context of a financial crisis, which is why we need transparency and openness more so now than ever.
“For too long Labour has been trying to pretend that the economic crisis had nothing to do with them – but now we know that Mr Brown, Mr Balls and Mr Darling were in charge during the entire period of the scandalous LIBOR fixing."
The questions the SNP has made public relating to Labour's period in government which the party could answer now in the interests of transparency:
1. During the former Chancellor's discussions with various banks including Barclays and RBS, did the subject of funding rates for RBS arise and did Mr Darling receive a briefing on this subject from officials?
2. Did the former Prime Minister or Chancellor ask whether there was oversight of the arrangements around LIBOR given the increasing relevance of liquidity and the obvious self-interest of banks during the financial crisis?
3. When was the former Chancellor first informed of the LIBOR fixing allegations and by whom? What was his immediate response?
4. Do the former Prime Minister, Chancellor and UK Economic Secretary consider the fixing of LIBOR to have potentially impacted the ability of UK banks to remain solvent during the financial crisis? If so, was this a consideration in their silence on the matter?
5. Did they receive official advice on the relevance of transparency around such a serious investigation in the context of wider allegations of malpractice and mismanagement in UK banking?
6. Why did the former Chancellor not make a statement to Parliament on these serious allegations as soon as they became known or at least at some point during his tenure in office?
7. Does the former Chancellor believe it would have been appropriate in the context of substantial malpractice in the banking sector to at least make Parliament aware of the LIBOR fixing investigation?
8. Do the former Prime Minister, Chancellor and Economic Secretary believe it was appropriate for such an important financial rate to be set by the banks without proper supervision particularly in the context of a banking crisis?
9. The Economic Secretary is responsible within HMT for banking, finance and financial regulation. Did the former Economic Secretary attend any discussions or briefings with regulators, officials or banking representatives which covered the subject of LIBOR?
10. Will Ed Miliband compel the former Labour ministers to give come clean on what they knew and when?