UK Legislators Back Parliamentary Banking Probe
British lawmakers backed a government plan on Thursday to hold a parliamentary inquiry into the professional and cultural standards of bankers brought into focus by the Barclays rate-rigging scandal that has deeply divided politicians, Reuters reported. They rejected a call by the opposition Labour party for an independent judge-led investigation, along the lines of an existing wide-ranging inquiry into British media standards. Legislators voted 330 to 226 in favor of the parliamentary inquiry, announced by the government on July 2. Although the vote fell short of the kind of cross-party backing the government had been seeking for the plan, Labour said afterwards it would support a committee that would be set up to conduct the inquiry. Earlier on Thursday in a parliamentary debate, finance minister George Osborne and Labour's shadow minister Ed Balls traded insults over who holds responsibility for the scandal of manipulating the interbank lending rate, Libor. The row, which illustrates the political bitterness over Libor and the level of acrimony over the running of the economy, centered on an interview Osborne gave to The Spectator, a British political magazine. Read more.