Thursday, 22 November 2007

Can anyone detect the smell of burning Y-fronts?

Alistair Darling has several times claimed that the banks had asked for more time before the announcement regarding the missing data disks to get ready for inquiries from thousands of customers. In the House of Commons on Tuesday 20 November Alistair Darling said "Indeed, the banks were adamant that they wanted as much time as possible to prepare for this announcement.". During an interview on the BBC Radio 4 Today programme Alistair Darling stated "I spoke to the banks, they said they needed some time to put in place protective measures. Indeed, some of the banks wanted a lot longer but that simply wasn't possible."

The banks disagree, the British Banking Association said: "The BBA did not ask for any more time. As soon as we were made aware of the security breach, banks put in place security measures to secure customer accounts. None of our members asked for any extra time. Clearly, everyone involved would have liked as much time as possible but banks unanimously agreed to go ahead without delay."

The Association of Payment Clearing Services (Apacs) which manages how money moves around the banks, added: "We certainly did not ask HMRC for any time, or the Chancellor. We found out on Friday and were given a deadline of Monday to sort the information out. There was no request for a delay from us.

A spokesman for Lloyds TSB said: "Categorically, we did not ask for additional time." Barclays said: "We did not ask for any delay."

Now who is telling the truth, Alistair Darling or the various banks and banking organisations? It can't be both, who do you believe? If Alistair Darling has lied to, sorry mislead Parliament, then is that a resigning matter?

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