Evidence stacking up against Culpability Brown
Gordon Brown faces damaging new criticism of the way banks were supervised by the Treasury, Bank of England and Financial Services Authority (FSA) following the publication today (Tuesday) of a report by the House of Lords Economic Affairs Committee.
SNP Treasury spokesperson, Stewart Hosie MP, said the report which said the so-called tripartite system had failed and must be reformed, added to the catalogue of failures by the prime minister in the lead up to the financial crisis, including:
- Brown ignored Treasury tripartite warnings in 2004.
- Admissions by the Financial Services Authority (FSA) Chairman, Lord Turner, that “the whole system was risky” and “they didn’t focus enough”
- The Bank of England’s Financial Stability Report 2007 which shows the UK Government and the Bank wilfully ignored warnings in the run up to the crisis
- Evidence from the FSA that Brown put political pressure on them not to question banks on risky practices
- The resignation of Sir James Crosby – one of the Prime Minister’s key advisors – followed revelations that when he was chief executive of bank HBOS he sacked a whistleblower who warned that banks were heading for disaster.
Commenting on the Lords report, Mr Hosie said:
“With every new report and revelation it is clear that the trail of responsibility for the banking crisis leads direct to Gordon Brown’s door. It is looking increasingly like the financial mess started in Downing Street, and not in America as the Prime Minister keeps protesting.
“The Lords report echoes criticism by the National Audit Office inquiry which found that the tripartite regulatory structure created by Gordon Brown was seriously flawed, and that Treasury officials decided it was not a priority to fix it.
“We have had allegations that Gordon Brown pressured City watchdogs into not questioning the banks’ risky practices and exerted political pressure, and now we have a Lords committee criticising the way banks were supervised.
“The evidence is stacking up against Culpability Brown.
“Until recently the main charge against Gordon Brown was his role as Chancellor in the decade when many of the cracks in the financial sector developed. But the evidence stacking up over recent weeks casts real doubt over his government’s responsibility for the financial crisis.
“With the European election on Thursday it is the SNP in Scotland who are working to protect Scotland’s jobs and communities from the impact of Brown’s economic failures.”