Labour: errant bankers must be struck off

ED Miliband, the leader of the Labour party, yesterday called for a new code of conduct for the banking industry which would allow for bankers to be “struck off” in the same way as doctors and lawyers.

Speaking ahead of the publication of the final Independent Commission on Banking report this morning, Miliband said the reforms proposed by Sir John Vickers and his panel should be “seen as a first stage of reform not an end-point”.

He said: “Banking should be a trusted profession. Other professions – such as medicine and the law – have codes of conduct and disciplinary rules. Bankers should be held to account to ensure they act with integrity, in the best interests of their customers, and in the best interests of the wider public.”

“I think the industry should take some responsibility, and strike people off who do the wrong thing.”

Details of Miliband’s plan were sketchy, and he did not explain who would enforce the code or whether a new professional body for banking, similar to the General Medical Council, would need to be created.

Miliband, who is attempting to portray Labour party as tougher on the banks than the coalition, will also call for a repeat of Labour's bonus tax and for new measures to boost competition among retail banks.

However, former chancellor Alistair Darling – the architect of Labour’s bonus tax – has claimed it would not work a second time round, as bankers would find ways of avoiding it.