The Liberal Democrats are calling for an urgent review of banking systems following HSBC reporting pre-tax profits of 6.7bn,
Shadow chancellor Vince Cable MP says: “There is a serious question mark about the level of profits in the banking sector.
In March 2000 the Cruickshank report provided a serious set of broad recommendations for action, yet the governments failure to act has meant that we are in the worst of all worlds.
“Piecemeal and ad-hoc investigations by the Office of Fair Trading are being relied upon too heavily while the level of charges and levels of service deteriorate.
“With soaring profits seemingly unrelated to the standard of customer service, whether it be overdraft charges or cheque clearing times, there will be increasing pressure for a windfall tax on banks.
“We do not believe that is the right way forward. There is now an urgent need for an overall review of the banking system, a Cruickshank II, whose recommendations must be more seriously investigated.”