Bankers should face charges over money manipulation

Plaid Cymru Treasury spokesperson Jonathan Edwards has today called for a serious and meaningful criminal investigation into affairs at Barclays after the bank was fined £290m for manipulating LIBOR interest rates between 2005 and 2009.

Mr Edwards said that, despite being the root cause of the financial crisis, the banks had got off scot free in recent years and that where guilt could be established then those responsible should be facing jail for their crimes.

He pointed out that this all took place under the last Labour government.

Mr Edwards said:

“The banking sector has a culture of entitlement, of something for nothing.

“The FSA has established that there was systematic abuse and manipulation of interest rates in Barclays’ favour.

“Individuals who are benefit cheats or try to rig the system in their favour face criminal convictions and jail – why not bankers who have rigged the market to the tune of billions of pounds?

“In what world is it acceptable for your company to be fined £290m and the only sanction is to offer to give up your bonus. What planet are these people on?

“The court of public opinion does not believe that rich people scamming money is acceptable. This sort of news eats away at the core of our society.

“Let’s remember that all this took place under the last Labour government, when Ed Balls and Ed Miliband were in the government, at a time when Labour were ‘relaxed’ about people becoming filthy rich.

“There is no difference between Labour and the Conservatives whatsoever in their disgraceful attitude towards the mega-rich in the finance sector and their ‘light-touch’ regulation which helped City spivs at the cost of the general public.

“Scandals over MPs expenses, newspaper phone hacking and the economic collapse all happened under Labour’s watch.

“The fact is that the Tory-Labour tag team are two sides of the same coin – always standing up for the mega-rich and not for the people of Wales.

“Plaid Cymru have consistently called for the complete separation of investment and retail banks. We must never again be in the situation where taxpayers’ money is used to prop up investors’ risks.”

ENDS

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