The closure of BCCI by supervisory action on 5 July 1991 provoked widespread public concern. Some, particularly in the financial community and the press, criticized the UK authorities for not taking this action long before. Others, particularly depositors, employees and shareholders, criticized the closure as precipitate and unjustified. It was against that background of public concern that the establishment of an inquiry into the supervision of BCCI was undertaken, the Inquiry terms of reference were: "to enquire into the supervision of BCCI under the Banking Acts; to consider whether the action taken by all the UK authorities was appropriate and timely; and to make recommendations". In addressing these terms of reference Lord Justice Bingham considered five broad questions: What did the UK authorities know about BCCI at all relevant times? Should they have known more? What action did the UK authorities take in relation to BCCI at all relevant times? Should they have acted differently? What should be done to prevent, or minimize the risk of, such an event recurring in the future?
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