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Put rogue bankers on trial: Clarke
Bankers who have committed crimes must be brought to trial, Justice Secretary Ken Clarke has insisted
Bankers who have committed crimes must be brought to trial, Justice Secretary Ken Clarke has insisted.
Asked about the two major scandals that have rocked the City this week, Mr Clarke acknowledged that financial crime was "easier to get away with" than virtually any other misdemeanours.
But he said there should be criminal investigations and prosecutions where crimes have been committed.
"We are very bad at prosecuting financial crime in this country," he told the BBC Radio 4 Today programme.
"I suspect financial crime is easier to get away with in this country than practically any other sort of crime.
"This is still being investigated, no doubt, but once these investigations are complete, if they have committed criminal offences they should be brought to trial."
Mr Clarke said some of the behaviour which came to light this week was "shocking".
"Some of it is distorting vital interest rates, some of it is knowingly selling products they know is worthless to the less sophisticated people you are selling it to - which I regard as obtaining money by deception. Then there is the total moral bankruptcy of the comments being made by the people who are doing it," he said.
Mr Clarke, a former chancellor, said there needed to be tougher regulation of the financial sector and that the Government would need to be ready to resist powerful lobbying from the City.
Ed Miliband has called for a full-scale public inquiry into banking culture and practices. The Labour leader said the industry was plagued by an "institutional corruption" which could only be eradicated by introducing a tough new code of conduct and jail sentences for immoral bankers who abuse the system.