The Labour leader, Ed Miliband, says regulators should get tough new powers to bar irresponsible bankers from the profession to avoid another crisis.
Ed Miliband has called for irresponsible bankers to be struck off, ahead of the Vickers Commission’s report on how to prevent another crisis in the sector.
The Labour leader said financiers who take unacceptable risks or mis-sell products should be barred from the profession, in the same way that negligent doctors can be ruled unfit for practise.
He said: “Banking should be a trusted profession. Other professions – such as medicine and the law – have codes of conduct and disciplinary rules.
“Bankers should be held to account to ensure they act with integrity, in the best interests of their customers, and in the best interests of the wider public.”
Mr Miliband’s call came ahead of Monday’s publication of the Independent Commission on Banking’s (ICB) final report which will make recommendations on how to prevent another banking crisis.
The Government launched the ICB, chaired by Sir John Vickers, last year to find ways of avoiding another banking crisis and taxpayer bailout.
We should never have to bail the banks out again. To guarantee that we need the serious and lasting reform. Ed Miliband
Mr Miliband said: “It is crucial we learn the right lessons from the financial crisis as we seek to ensure it does not happen again and build a different kind of economy that will meet the big challenges of the future.
“We should never have to bail the banks out again. To guarantee that we need the serious and lasting reform.”
Business Secretary Vince Cable warned the industry to prepare for sweeping reforms so they could never again use “the deposits of British savers to play the banking equivalent of the roulette wheel”.
Mr Cable said: “Banks must be left under no illusions that reform is coming.
“The recession is not an excuse for postponing banking reform. Indeed our economic recovery depends on it.”
He added: “Three years on from the massive financial heart attack which did enormous damage to the world’s economy, we have been reminded that although a complete collapse was averted by the surgeons in central banks and finance ministers, the patient is still far from well.
“The carnage (of the crisis) would have been worse had the Government – the taxpayer – not stepped in to offer guarantees and emergency lending for all banks that were short of liquidity.
“Yet top bankers, whose institutions remain dependent on taxpayer guarantees, continue to award themselves huge salaries and bonuses.”
Chief Secretary to the Treasury Danny Alexander has dismissed reports that Mr Cable would quit if the Government delayed implementing Sir John’s recommendations, calling the claims “total nonsense”.