19/06/2013 04:46 BST | Updated 19/06/2013 04:48 BST

Mehdi's Morning Memo: 'Lock Up The Bankers'

George Osborne, U.K. chancellor of the exchequer, pauses as he tours the construction site of the Francis Crick Institute's new building in London, U.K., on Thursday, June 6, 2013. At 1 million square feet and with as many as 1,500 employees, including 1,250 scientists, the Crick Institute is set to become Europe's largest science research center in one building. Photographer: Simon Dawson/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The five things you need to know on Wednesday 19 June 2013...


Senior bankers should be personally responsible for malpractice, with a new criminal offence of reckless misconduct in the management of a bank that carries a custodial sentence, the parliamentary Commission on Banking Standards has said today. It also recommended giving regulators the power to delay the payment of bonuses for 10 years for reckless bankers.

Andrew Tyrie, the chairman of the committee, said: "Recent scandals, not least the fixing of the Libor rate that prompted Parliament to establish this Commission, have exposed shocking and widespread malpractice. Taxpayers and customers have lost out. The economy has suffered. The reputation of the financial sector has been gravely damaged. Trust in banking has fallen to a new low."

The committee also said the government look at splitting the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) into a "good" bank and a "bad" bank as part of an urgent rethink of Government plans for privatisation.

The government also came under heavy fire for "political interference" in RBS and fellow state-backed lender Lloyds Banking Group, with the report calling for the body in charge of managing the taxpayer stakes to be scrapped.

Today's Memo is edited by Ned Simons as Mehdi Hasan is swimming in Lough Erne.


Speaking of RBS. George Osborne will shed light on his plans for the state-owned banks today. The chancellor is expected to use his annual Mansion House speech to suggest that a sell-off of the taxpayer's 40% stake in Lloyds could start by 2015. He is also likely to order more detailed work on how to hive off toxic assets from RBS into a "bad" bank following the banking commission report.


Conservative backbencher James Wharton's Bill calling for an EU referendum will be published today. As The Spectator reported last night the legislation is co-sponsored by a number of MPs, including Bill Cash and Stephen Dorrell - an attempt to underline the support from across the Conservative Party. The Bill will have its second reading on July 5 and should pass as Labour has indicated it will abstain. Expect David Cameron to crowbar some mockery of Ed Miliband's position into today's PMQs or statement on the G8.


Supporters of Boris Johnson prefer Jeremy Clarkson, Jimmy Carr and the rock band Muse, while backers of David Cameron like Margaret Thatcher, Prince William and listening to Just a Minute on BBC Radio 4, The Times reports.

The insight comes as The Guardian reports on an Ipsos MORI poll that shows the Conservative party under David Cameron has seen a 100% rise in support from younger people, while its popularity has decreased among the old.


GUANTANAMO BAY - The Obama administration on Monday publicly identified for the first time 46 prisoners at Guantanamo Bay whom it wants to hold indefinitely without charge or trial because it says they are too dangerous to release but cannot be prosecuted. The Huffington Post reports on the list were 26 Yemenis, 12 Afghans, three Saudis, two Kuwaitis, two Libyans, a Kenyan, a Moroccan and a Somali. Two of the Afghans died after the list was compiled, one from suicide and the other from a heart attack.

The BBC reports the case of the last UK resident held in Guantanamo Bay was been raised by David Cameron in talks with president Obama during the G8 summit in Northern Ireland.

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@iainmartin1 Wonder if "reckless mismanagement" law will apply to Chancellors who launch blow up the housing market Help to Buy schemes. Thought not...

@jameswhartonmp If you care about giving the British people a say please co-sponsor my Bill!

@George_Osborne Welcome banking commission report into standards which we called for last year.V impressive work.Will help our plan for stronger safer banks


Simon Jenkins in The Guardian: Snowden's revelations are causing outrage in the US. In the UK, Hague deploys a police-state defence and the media is silenced.

Daniel Finkelstein in The Times: Ahead of Barack Obama’s speech in Berlin we should remember that the US made the choice to protect Europe.

Mary Riddell in The Daily Telegraph: Ed Miliband is standing firm on Syria, but is he caught in a trap?

Got something you want to share? Please send any stories/tips/quotes/pix/plugs/gossip to Mehdi Hasan (mehdi.hasan@huffingtonpost.com) or Ned Simons (ned.simons@huffingtonpost.com). You can also follow us on Twitter: @mehdirhasan, @nedsimons and @huffpostukpol