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Bank of Credit and Commerce International

Volume 448: debated on Thursday 6 July 2006

3. If he will meet the liquidators of the Bank of Credit and Commerce International to discuss progress of the liquidation. (82767)

I thank my right hon. Friend for that answer. I remind her that on 21 June, the Governor of the Bank of England said at Mansion house that he felt that our legal system was incapable of resolving financial disputes such as BCCI in a timely and cost-effective way. The Minister is aware that the last litigation lasted 256 days and that the liquidation has taken 15 years to complete. I am glad that the Minister will be meeting me. Let us hope that, with ministerial action, this very long liquidation—the largest insolvency in history—will be brought to a speedy conclusion.

First, I congratulate my hon. Friend on his appointment to the Privy Council. [Hon. Members: “Hear, hear.”] Having looked at the history of this in preparing to answer his question, I completely understand that it has taken an inordinately long time to settle. When I looked at the judgment in the recent case of the Bank of England v. BCCI, I could detect no suggestion from the judge that the liquidators had acted other than in good faith on the basis of the professional advice available to them. Indeed, the judge’s anger seems to have been directed rather more at the legal profession than at the liquidators.