Five questions answered on the Parliamentary Commission on Banking Standard’s report

What does it say about banking culture?

The Parliamentary Commission on Banking Standards, set up by Chancellor George Osborne, has today released a report on the banking system. We answer five questions on the reports recommendation.

What are the main findings of the report?

The fifth report from the commission, which was established last year in response to a number of scandals involving the banking industry, recommended that senior bankers guilty of reckless misconduct should be jailed.

It also lambasted the lack of accountability of bankers and recommended that some bonuses should be withheld for up to 10 years.

"Senior executives were aware that they would not be punished for what they could not see and promptly donned the blindfolds.

"Where they could not claim ignorance, they fell back on the claim that everyone was party to a decision, so that no individual could be held squarely to blame - the Murder on the Orient Express defence," the report said.

What other recommendations does the report make?

It called on the government to review alternatives for selling off the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) and said there should be more action to make the banking market more competitive.

Other recommendations were that banks should be legally required to put financial safety ahead of shareholder interests.

 Senior bankers should be assigned clear personal responsibilities, with the legal onus on them to show they have done all that is reasonably required.

Deferred pay and pension rights should also be cancellable if a banker misbehaves, or - in the case of senior managers - if the bank has to be bailed out.

Did the report say anything about banking culture?

Yes. It suggested banks should publish their gender ratios and take action when there is an imbalance. It attacked the male-dominated culture on trading floors.

It also said there should be an independent code of conduct for bankers and more needs to be done to change banking culture.

What has the government said about the report?

The called it an "impressive piece of work" and have vowed to respond to the report before the summer recess.

A spokesperson speaking to the BBC also said:

"Where legislation is needed, we have said we will support it, and the banking bill currently before Parliament can be amended to ensure they are quickly enacted.”

Liberal Democrat peer Lord Oakeshott, also told the BBC: "Why are there no banged-up bankers? That's what most people want to know after the last five years of scandals and shame."

What have representatives of the banking industry said?

Former RBS chairman and chief executive Sir George Mathewson told the BBC his opinion on the recommendation to defer bonuses for up to 10 years:

"I find that a little strange. If you are going to have bonuses, they are to incentivise behaviours. Ten years out is not an easy way to imagine incentivisation occurring."

Photograph: Getty Images

Heidi Vella is a features writer for Nridigital.com

Ukip's Nigel Farage and Paul Nuttall. Photo: Getty
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Is the general election 2017 the end of Ukip?

Ukip led the way to Brexit, but now the party is on less than 10 per cent in the polls. 

Ukip could be finished. Ukip has only ever had two MPs, but it held an outside influence on politics: without it, we’d probably never have had the EU referendum. But Brexit has turned Ukip into a single-issue party without an issue. Ukip’s sole remaining MP, Douglas Carswell, left the party in March 2017, and told Sky News’ Adam Boulton that there was “no point” to the party anymore. 

Not everyone in Ukip has given up, though: Nigel Farage told Peston on Sunday that Ukip “will survive”, and current leader Paul Nuttall will be contesting a seat this year. But Ukip is standing in fewer constituencies than last time thanks to a shortage of both money and people. Who benefits if Ukip is finished? It’s likely to be the Tories. 

Is Ukip finished? 

What are Ukip's poll ratings?

Ukip’s poll ratings peaked in June 2016 at 16 per cent. Since the leave campaign’s success, that has steadily declined so that Ukip is going into the 2017 general election on 4 per cent, according to the latest polls. If the polls can be trusted, that’s a serious collapse.

Can Ukip get anymore MPs?

In the 2015 general election Ukip contested nearly every seat and got 13 per cent of the vote, making it the third biggest party (although is only returned one MP). Now Ukip is reportedly struggling to find candidates and could stand in as few as 100 seats. Ukip leader Paul Nuttall will stand in Boston and Skegness, but both ex-leader Nigel Farage and donor Arron Banks have ruled themselves out of running this time.

How many members does Ukip have?

Ukip’s membership declined from 45,994 at the 2015 general election to 39,000 in 2016. That’s a worrying sign for any political party, which relies on grassroots memberships to put in the campaigning legwork.

What does Ukip's decline mean for Labour and the Conservatives? 

The rise of Ukip took votes from both the Conservatives and Labour, with a nationalist message that appealed to disaffected voters from both right and left. But the decline of Ukip only seems to be helping the Conservatives. Stephen Bush has written about how in Wales voting Ukip seems to have been a gateway drug for traditional Labour voters who are now backing the mainstream right; so the voters Ukip took from the Conservatives are reverting to the Conservatives, and the ones they took from Labour are transferring to the Conservatives too.

Ukip might be finished as an electoral force, but its influence on the rest of British politics will be felt for many years yet. 

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