Parliamentary Commission on Banking Standards to hold meetings in Birmingham and London

24 September 2012

Parliamentary Commission on Banking Standards to visit Birmingham to hear from consumers and SMEs about their experience of banks.

The Parliamentary Commission on Banking Standards (PCBS) has appointed a panel of members to look at issues arising from the consumer and SME experience of banks.

As part of its inquiry, the panel is visiting Birmingham on Monday 24 September to hear from businesses at an event organised by the Birmingham Chamber of Commerce and from consumers at an event organised by Which?.

The panel is holding its first formal evidence sessions in Parliament on Wednesday 26 September. Further meetings will be announced in due course.

For more information regarding the PCBS and the creation, appointment and working methods of panels, please see the notes to editors section at the bottom of this release.

The lead member of the panel on the consumer and SME experience of banks, Rt Hon Pat McFadden MP, commented:

"Banks exist to serve the daily needs of millions of people and businesses across the country. They are crucial to the real economy and future growth.
However, recent scandals show serious problems have developed in the relationship between banks and their customers. This panel will try to find out what lies behind this and how it might be addressed.
I was very keen that the Commission came to the West Midlands to hear directly from businesses and consumers who rely on banks and the services they provide.
We are not aiming to resolve individual complaints but any information gathered will be invaluable when it comes to writing our final report.
These issues lie at the heart of the Commission’s work on banking standards."

Event details

Monday 24 September – visit to Birmingham

2pm- 4pm - Round table discussion event hosted by Birmingham Chamber of Commerce, attended by small and medium-sized businesses

  • For more information, please contact the Birmingham Chamber of Commerce press office on 0121 202 5156 | 0121 450 4228 or

6pm - 8pm - Round table discussion organised by Which?, attended by individual consumers

Wednesday 26 September – evidence sessions

All of these evidence sessions are taking place in the Grimond Room in Portcullis House and are open to the public.

2pm - 3pm

  • Peter Vicary-Smith, Chief Executive, Which?
  • Mike Dailly, Financial Services Consumer Panel
  • Christine Farnish, Chair, Consumer Focus

3pm - 4pm

  • Matthew Fell, Director of Competitive Markets, CBI
  • Mike Cherry, Policy Chairman, FSB
  • Mike Spicer, Senior Policy Advisor, BCC
  • Andy Davis, Finance and business writer

4pm - 4.30pm

  • Abhishek Sachdev, Vedanta Hedging

Further information

About the Parliamentary Commission on Banking Standards

In the wake of the recent Libor rate fixing scandal, the PCBS was established, at the request of the leaders of all three main parties, by both Houses of Parliament to consider and report on:

  • professional standards and culture of the UK banking sector, taking account of regulatory and competition investigations into the LIBOR rate-setting process 
  • lessons to be learned about corporate governance, transparency and conflicts of interest, and their implications for regulation and for Government policy

and to make recommendations for legislative action by December 18 and on other matters as soon as possible thereafter.

About panels

In its terms of reference, the PCBS was granted the power to split into sub-committees.

It has been decided that a series of sub-committees will be established to undertake initial evidence gathering on specific issues.

These sub-committees will be called panels.

Panels will

  • Provide the PCBS with flexibility in evidence gathering.
    - Given the PCBS' broad remit and the fact that it has been tasked with conducting the Pre-Legislative scrutiny of the Government’s draft Banking Reform Bill, panels will be crucial to its ability to conduct a thorough inquiry
  • Be short, sharp investigations of particular issues
  • Be formed of a subgroup of PCBS members
  • Meet  in public or in private 
  • Not draw any formal conclusions - their findings will inform the work of the PCBS
  • Feed back to the full PCBS - a decision will then be taken on whether any further, full evidence sessions are required

Panels have been established to look at:

The PCBS has agreed to create panels on issues of corporate governance, the regulatory and supervisory approach and competition.

This list is not exhaustive and further panels may be created and appointed to cover other issues as the PCBS sees fit.

No decisions have been taken as to the membership of any panels except the one on the consumer and SME experience of banks.

The membership of the panel on the consumer and SME experience of banks is as follows:

  • Rt Hon Pat McFadden MP (lead member)
  • Mark Garnier MP
  • Andrew Love MP
  • Rt Hon Lord McFall of Alcluith
  • John Thurso MP

Image: iStockphoto

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