Thursday 5th July 2012
Nicholas Soames (Mid Sussex) (Con): Does my right hon. Friend agree that although the serious banking difficulties must be dealt with, it is vital that we retain the central importance of the City of London, and that any reforms must be proportionate and not damage such a brilliant asset for our country?
The Prime Minister: My right hon. Friend makes an important point. We have to get to the bottom of what has happened and we have to do so quickly. In doing that, we should bear in mind the remarks of Richard Lambert, who ran the CBI very successfully for many years, who carried out an investigation for the Labour party and whom I respect a great deal:
“the Libor scandal means that the required changes have to be tougher…that is the argument for a short, sharp inquiry. Going back to square one would, to put it mildly, be a serious mistake. The economy cannot recover in the absence of a stable banking system: nothing can be more urgent than that.”
That is not the only consideration. We must get to the truth, but we should listen to such expert opinions as well.