Most Europeans think fraudulent bankers and traders found to have manipulated market rules such as Libor should face jail, according to a new survey.
The poll, and a petition, comes as MEPs in Brussels backed criminal penalties, including minimum prison terms, for the most serious financial crimes.
The research shows almost 90 percent of people questioned in France, Germany and the UK, believe guilty bankers should be imprisoned.
Julien Bayou from Avaaz, the organisation behind the poll and petition, said: ‘‘In the US, the penalty is up to 14-years. We really must end the current laxity of rules in the banking sector.’‘
But some countries are likely to oppose the new recommendations. The UK government has said it will only sign up if the rules are stricter than the ones presently in place.
Arlene McCarthy MEP, Vice-Chair of the parliament’s Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee, said: “They (UK) will opt in if they are tough. They will not opt in if they are weaker than what we have currently in the UK. The countries we really have to worry about are those like Bulgaria, Slovenia, who simply don’t have these rules in place and that’s why we had to change the rules and criminal sanctions.”
The new EU parliament plan calls for guilty traders to face five years behind bars for serious crimes and two years for lesser breaches.