POLITICS

Nick Clegg Blames Labour For 'Single-Handedly' Causing Banking Crash

16/01/2014 11:43 GMT | Updated 25/01/2014 21:01 GMT
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LONDON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 14: (L-R) Labour leader Ed Miliband and Leader of the Liberal Democrats Nick Clegg share a hymn sheet as Former British Prime Ministers Gordon Brown and Tony Blair are seen behind them at the Cenotaph during Remembrance Sunday in Whitehall, on November 14, 2010 in London, England. Remembrance Sunday tributes were carried out across the nation to pay respects to all who those who lost their lives in current and past conflicts, including the First and Second World Wars. (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)

Nick Clegg has accused Labour of being "single-handedly responsible" for the 2008 banking crash, in an attack that has been met with derision by actual experts.

Speaking this morning on his LBC 97.3, the Liberal Democrat leader poured scorn on Labour's attempt on Wednesday to urge the government to stop RBS paying its bankers twice their pay in bonuses.

"I almost admire the chutzpah of these people who created this mess going around to tell people how to clear it up.

"It was verging on the bizarre that the Labour Party thought they had anything to teach anyone about the banks because they are single handedly responsible for the biggest collapse in our banking system in the postwar period."

Samuel Tombs, UK economist at Capital Economics, told the Huffington Post UK that Clegg had offered 'quite an extreme interpretation of the financial crisis, which had various causes".

"You could say he's letting the bankers off lightly with this assessment. But he's clearly making it for political reasons."

Labour has been criticised for its infamous "prawn cocktail" charm offensive to woo City of London figures when in government and accused of a "light-touch regulation" of the sector.

Ministers also knighted the controversial former RBS banking chief executive Fred Goodwin for "services to banking", despite later being blamed for bringing down the bank by pursuing the risky takeover of the Dutch bank ABN Amro.

A Survation/Progressive Polling poll from 2012 found that 61.7% of British voters blamed the banking industry for the 2008 financial crisis, more than twice as much as those who blame Labour.

Michael Jarman, head of equity strategy at H20 Markets, told HuffPostUK that "the idea of banking deregulation and the lack of supervisory efforts is definitely Labour's fault. However, the world was caught unaware and it's obviously a populist path Clegg is walking down."

See also: Clegg Says The Banks Are In Order: Here Are 7 Reasons Why They're Not

Reasons Why The Banks Aren't Yet In Order