QC quizzing for banks
The parliamentary inquiry into the banks will be able to use QCs to examine witnesses, Downing Street has confirmed.
The MPs that will investigate the standards and culture of the UK's banking industry were unveiled this morning, and include chairman Andrew Tyrie, Lib Dem John Thurso, Tory Mark Garnier and two Labour MPs, Andy Love and Pat McFadden.
However there was surprise at the omission of two of the most outspoken members of the Treasury Select Committee, Labour's John Mann and Conservative Andrea Leadsom.
Last week Ms Leadsom hit out at the Chancellor, George Osborne, and called on him to apologise for his suggestion that Ed Balls had been involved in the rigging of the Libor rate.
A Number 10 spokesman denied Ms Leadsom was kept off the Committee because of her comments, and insisted the membership had been "agreed between the parties".
Following the announcement, Mr Mann took to Twitter to label the decision a "total joke", and pledged to set up a rival probe.
"Both Andrea and I were available for the Inquiry, and because we are too outspoken we have been blocked," the Labour MP said.
"This exposes the Inquiry as a total whitewash with Andrew Tyrie reaching his conclusions in advance of the meetings. We need to get to the bottom of this scandal and I'm therefore setting up my own inquiry into this dreadful mess."
The Bank of England will today announce details of a plan to boost high street lending by giving banks conditional access to cheap funds.
Under the proposals the Bank may make up to £80bn available, provided firms increase lending to small businesses by at least 5%.
TUC general secretary-elect Frances O'Grady called for low paid bank branch staff to be included on the remuneration committees that set the pay of top bank executives.