Bailed out banks should be subject to FoI laws

Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Tavish Scott has lodged a motion in the Scottish Parliament calling for banks that are owned or controlled by the taxpayer to be subject to freedom of information legislation.

Mr Scott said: "Directors' salaries and bonuses are coming out of public funds. We need to see that the rewards they are given match the needs of the economy and jobs, and most importantly, get lending to businesses moving.

"The UK Government has poured millions of pounds into two major Scottish banks. But at the moment we can't find out what these banks are doing with our money.

"The taxpayer should not have to sign up to a blank cheque granting ministers sweeping powers and providing little information. I don't accept that ministers can have these powers and at the same time build themselves a legal brick wall to block information getting back to the public.

"The principle of the freedom of information rules is that taxpayers can approach a public body and find out what it is up to."

Open up bailout banks to public scrutiny, Lib Dem demands (STV, 29 March 2009)

See also: Banks ‘should be open to public scrutiny’ (The Times, 5 April 2009)