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UKFI face wrath of Treasury Select Committee

The Treasury Select Committee has slammed the men in charge of UK Financial Investments for failing to prepare for today’s hearing into the banking crisis.

UKFI is the body responsible for the taxpayers’ stake in banks such as Royal Bank of Scotland and Lloyds Banking Group.

Chairman of the committee John McFall kicked off proceedings with a series of questions relating to the number of banking bonuses paid out in excess of £100,000.

Neither John Kingman, chief executive of UKFI, nor Glenn Moreno, chairman of UKFI could provide the committee with the requested information.

John McFall reacted angrily to the “highly discourteous” lack of response, saying: “Are you going to be a serious body here?

“You’re standing behind hundreds of billions of pounds of taxpayers’ money, for the interest of the taxpayer.

“You get a simple request on Friday and you don’t even seem apologetic that you don’t even have it.”

He adds: “I think it’s scandalous to be honest with you, and I think it’s a bad start for UKFI, because when we look at your website there’s a paucity of information anyway, and that was the reason we asked for it.

“If you’re a serious body looking after the taxpayers’ interests you’ve got to show there’s a seriousness about you. And frankly, we’re all appalled at this.”

Kingman apologised for what he deemed to be a misunderstanding, saying he did not realise there would be specific questions on bonuses.

Glenn Moreno defended UKFI, arguing it is playing an active role in safeguarding public money that has been injected into the banking system.

He says: “I can’t respond to your question on individual bonus awards at RBS.

“But I can say UKFI has been very heavily involved over the last few weeks in negotiating RBS’ original bonus proposals and frankly pushing them down and pushing them out and making them payable in deferred debt paper of the bank over three years starting in 2010.”

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