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William Powell AM condemns the Financial Conduct Authority as it shelves plans for its Banking Inquiry

January 2, 2016 3:39 PM

William Powell, Assembly Member for Mid and West Wales today condemned the decision of the City Regulator, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), to shelve its plans for an inquiry into the culture, pay and behaviour of staff in banking. The FCA had planned to look at whether pay, promotion or other incentives had contributed to scandals involving banks in the UK and abroad.

William Powell said:

"This decision by the FCA is appalling. It amounts to an amnesty for those in the City who helped to contribute to the 2008 banking crisis which had widespead consequences for the whole UK economy, including huge bailouts at the taxpayers expense for the banking sector. The ramifications carry on with further wholescale closure of bank branches throughout large parts of Wales."

He added:

"I've been campaigning on the issue of bank branch closures and the need for new community banks since I was first elected to the Assembly. The sad truth is that the big banks just aren't interested in rural and small business customers and in local communities. There is a now a relentless push for ever higher profit margins - bank customers in rural areas and small towns are simply not profitable and the banks are, in effect, pulling out."

"The culture and practices in modern banking need to be exposed so that we don't end up having to have another bail-out in the future. Any hope of real change has been dashed by the FCA's decision. We could all pay the price for yet again for putting the interests of the City of London ahead of the banking needs of local communities."