Parliamentary commission chairman Andrew Tyrie has proved a tough cross-examiner of the banking business
The final report by the parliamentary commission on banking standards underscores the role of Andrew Tyrie, its chairman, as the man who has done more than any regulator to expose the causes of the financial crisis.
Tyrie, a former adviser to Conservative chancellors Nigel Lawson and John Major, joined parliament in 1997, but was passed over for a ministerial job when the Tories got back into power in 2010. The outspoken MP then won the chairmanship of the powerful Treasury select committee, where he has carved out a role as inquisitor-in-chief of the financial crisis. From here, he proved a popular choice to chair the commission on banking standards, a cross-party group of backbenchers and peers, created when the government declined Labour's proposal for a public inquiry into the Libor rate-rigging scandal.
Tyrie has proved a tough cross-examiner of the banking business. "What really sticks in the craw of the electorate," he told the Guardian in April, "is that what you and I would consider to be very serious offences have been committed, and yet there doesn't seem to be an orange jumpsuit on anyone – although there may yet be with Libor."
The commission's report also underscores Tyrie's view that banking problems were pervasive, squashing the "few bad apples" defence mounted by financiers. "The sheer scale and variety of things that the banks got up to is quite extraordinary," he said in that interview. "These are large numbers of people over very long periods, able to conduct malpractice, market abuses and what you and I would call simple fraud."
The other members of the commission were Justin Welby, archbishop of Canterbury, Mark Garnier MP (Conservative), Lady Kramer (Liberal Democrat), Lord Lawson (Conservative), Andrew Love MP (Labour/Co-operative), Pat McFadden MP (Labour), Lord McFall (Labour/Co-operative), John Thurso MP (Liberal Democrat) and Lord Turnbull (crossbench)