Chancellor George Osborne to announce 'narrow' banking inquiry

The Chancellor's team says his announcement to the Commons will "shoot Labour's fox."

That suggests the Chancellor thinks that what he will announce this afternoon will outflank Labour who have been asking for a full public inquiry into banking.

The Chancellor will NOT announce a 'Leveson style' public inquiry into banking.

Instead he will announce a much narrower inquiry:

  • Into how the Libor interest rates are set.
  • What criminal sanctions can be applied on manipulation of these rates and for directors involved in bad practice.
  • And a review on standards, qualifications and the conduct of bankers.

The Government did announce these measures at the weekend, but it insists there will be much more detail on them today.

But with Labour on manoeuvres in the Commons, will it be enough to see off the calls for a full public inquiry?

Certainly the Government think there is little point in a long, costly inquiry and I'm sure they will be quoting one former Labour Chancellor, Alistair Darling who said pretty much the same thing at the weekend.