Below is the text of Mr Major’s comments on BCCI (The Bank of Credit and Commerce International), made in London on 20th January 1993.
[The Prime Minister was asked about the collapse of BCCI]
It was a very tragic collapse. We have to consider why it happened. It didn’t happen because of poor regulation by the Bank of England or indeed by any of the other regulators around the world; it happened because of a gigantic and monstrous criminal fraud; this is what actually happened.
We have a deposit protection scheme and most of the depositors will get about 75% of their deposits back as a result of the deposit protection scheme.
The independent inquiry into BCCI was held by Sir Thomas Bingham and although he had some criticisms of the Bank of England, he expressly did not think the Bank of England could have prevented the fraud but whatever the rights and wrongs of that may be, the important point to the businessmen concerned and the depositors concerned is whether they are going to get their money back and 75% of their money it seems for most of them will come back.