LONDON Chief executives and senior bankers from five of Britain's top lenders on Wednesday face scrutiny on lending, bonuses and mistakes made during the banking crisis from a panel of politicians.
CEOs from Royal Bank of Scotland, Barclays and Lloyds Banking Group will be joined by the UK heads from HSBC and Spain's Santander before the Treasury Select Committee, a cross-party group of MPs.
Four former bankers on Tuesday apologised to the committee for mistakes that brought Royal Bank of Scotland and HBOS to the brink of collapse.
Attention now shifts to what is being done to increase lending to home owners and small businesses to limit an economic recession, and how banks can curtail risks.
Executive pay and the bonus structure of banking will also remain a hot topic, following fierce media criticism and a public backlash against bankers and their lavish perks.
The furore escalated after a report that RBS could pay out almost 1 billion pounds in bonuses for 2008, despite it and Lloyds taking 37 billion pounds in taxpayer funds.
New RBS CEO Stephen Hester and his counterpart at Barclays, John Varley, could face most scrutiny on how pay structures in their investment banks can change. Varley said on Monday he wants to overhaul the pay structure.
Criticism that bonus systems fostered undue risk-taking and helped cause the credit crisis has triggered a global rethink of remuneration.
U.S. bank executives are also set to step into the firing line before politicians on Wednesday.
Bank of America's Ken Lewis and Citigroup's Vikram Pandit are among eight CEOs due to testify before the House Financial Services Commitee.
(Editing by David Cowell)