Bank bosses face parliamentary committee in standards probe

LONDON Fri Feb 1, 2013 1:37pm GMT

LONDON (Reuters) - The bosses of HSBC, Barclays and Lloyds have been called to testify before a parliamentary committee next week as an inquiry into standards in banking intensifies after a string of scandals.

The Parliamentary Commission on Banking Standards (PCBS) has this month switched its focus to standards and culture after spending most of the past three months assessing structural reform.

It is likely to grill executives on mis-selling, pay and what is being done to improve risk management and culture that have been shown to be flawed.

Lloyds CEO Antonio Horta-Osorio and Chairman Win Bischoff will appear together before the panel on Monday, followed by new Barclays CEO Antony Jenkins and Chairman David Walker on Tuesday. HSBC CEO Stuart Gulliver and Chairman Douglas Flint will appear on Wednesday.

All three banks have had problems in the past year.

A 290 million pound fine for Barclays in June for rigging Libor interest rates unearthed long-standing concerns at the regulator about its culture, and HSBC was fined a record $1.9 billion (1.2 billion pounds) by U.S. authorities for weak anti-money laundering controls. Both banks have faced criticism they are too big and complex.

Lloyds has been slammed for too aggressively selling retail products, which has left it with a far bigger bill than rivals for compensating customers mis-sold insurance products.

All banks have been criticised for their PPI (payment protection insurance) sales policies - the industry may end up paying more than 20 billion pounds in compensation - and banks may have to pay out billions more after the UK regulator on Thursday found they had mis-sold complex interest-rate hedging products to small businesses.

Mark Carney, the future governor of the Bank of England, is also likely to face questions on his views on banking standards when he appears before UK politicians next Thursday.

(Reporting by Steve Slater; Editing by Helen Massy-Beresford)

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