A leading Labour MP yesterday accused the Tories of blocking moves to summon former HSBC boss Stephen – now Lord – Green to the Treasury select committee to account for the controversy surrounding its Swiss operations.
Lord Green, who left HSBC to join the House of Lords as a Conservative peer and trade minister in 2010 after nearly 30 years at the bank, has yet to be called by any of the parliamentary committees probing the bank.
John Mann, a Labour MP on the Treasury select committee, said: “The Tories will not allow [Green] to be called. They are trying to palm this off until after the election. He was responsible, he was at the heart of things; it is even more important – because he then became a government minister – that he is held to account for his actions or inactions.”
A spokesman for the committee, said no formal proposal to call Green had been put to the committee. “We were considering who to call in our session a couple of weeks ago and it was decided we wanted to respond to HSBC as it stood now, a forward-looking approach.
“These allegations raise some important questions, but we decided to focus on the current management and there were some strong questions during the session,” the spokesman said.
Meanwhile, HSBC chief executive Stuart Gulliver yesterday faced two hours of grilling in parliament’s public accounts committee. He said he was the right person to be CEO “because my tax affairs are in order and I have carried out widespread root-and-branch reforms of HSBC in the five years I have been group CEO.”