British legislators on Thursday approved a parliamentary inquiry into the country's banking industry. The 330 to 226 vote [Reuters report] came two days after Prime Minister David Cameron [official website] announced [Bloomberg report] that he would initiate the parliamentary inquiry into the industry following the imposition of a $450 million fine on Barclays Pls [corporate website] for rigging interest rates and the resignation of its chairman, Marcus Agius [BBC News profile]. The probe will be conducted by members of both the House of Commons and the upper House of Lords led by chairman of the Treasury Committee [official websites] Andrew Tyrie [official profile]. The government is seeking to reach a cross-party majority as well as an agreement with opposition parties on the details of the probe.
UK is not the only nation having problems with professional and cultural standards of bankers. On Wednesday the Supreme Court of Spain accepted the case against the nationalized bank Bankia [corporate website, in Spanish]. Spain's public prosecutor's anti-corruption unit began its investigation [JURIST report] against Bankia last month to determine whether there was sufficient ground to take penal action against the nationalized company. Over 500 minority investors, most of whom were attracted to invest by the bank's last July's drawing and who suffered financial losses because of the fall of the bank's stock prices, are seeking to start preparing next week for a class action against the bank for compensation. In April, the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) [official website] filed a suit against the Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) [corporate website] claiming that it was involved in an illegal futures trading scheme from 2007 to 2010. In December of last year, Bank of America (BOA) [corporate website] had agreed to pay [JURIST report] $315 million to settle claims brought by investors alleging they were misled related to mortgage-backed investments.