Scale of Libor scandal shocking

Responding to a statement by the Chancellor on the manipulation of the Libor rate, SNP Westminster Treasury spokesperson Stewart Hosie MP called for the Financial Services Bill, currently being considered by parliament, to be reviewed to ensure that the Financial Conduct Authority is equipped with ‘powers and sanctions’ to deal with the scandal.

Mr Hosie – a Member of the Treasury Select Committee – said:

“The scale of the manipulation of Libor – described by the FSA as lasting for three and a half years is truly scandalous. It is incredible that, at the present time, this manipulation is not a criminal offence.

“The public will quite rightly be asking what on earth the FSA was doing for the three and a half years that this was happening and, equally, this scandal raises questions for those who occupied Downing Street at the time that this abuse was going on – Labour’s Gordon Brown and Alastair Darling.

“While Barclays will be held to account for their actions by shareholders and regulators, it is clear that Westminster’s catastrophic regulatory and supervisory failures were the co-authors of this scandal.

“The last Labour government’s age of irresponsibility is catching up with Alistair Darling and Gordon Brown.

“The evidence over who is responsible for the economic crisis, and the regulatory failures which contributed to it, all lead directly back to Downing Street. The failure of regulation was ‘made in Downing Street’ – numbers 10 and 11.

“With the Financial Services Bill still before parliament we must take the opportunity to ensure that the new Financial Conduct Authority has both the powers and the sanctions to deal with this sort of abuse.”