Political row grows over bank scandal

Political knock-on effects of the scandal surrounding former Co-op Bank boss Paul Flowers became clearer yesterday, with figures from both major political parties assigning blame for misconduct. The former chair of the influential Treasury Select Committee, Lord McFall, told BBC’s Newsnight that he was “gobsmacked” at the revelations, saying that lessons had not been learned from the errors in management surrounding the financial crisis. McFall said regulators had failed to ensure that bank chairmen and CEOs were both qualified and had integrity, calling the existing process “a paper exercise, nothing else”. Former City minister Lord Myners joined in with his own scathing criticism, saying that the now abolished Financial Services Authority “fell well short of the right standard in respect of the Co-op Bank”. Conservative party chairman Grant Shapps raised the scandal in a letter to Ed Miliband, asking whether the leader of the opposition knew that Flowers had resigned from Bradford Council over accusations that the had downloaded inappropriate adult content to a local authority computer. Shapps also asked if shadow chancellor Ed Balls was aware of the issue when his office was given a £50,000 donation from the Co-op group.