House of Commons committee accuses Norfolk hospital consortium of making millions by refinancing loans.

The PFI consortium that built the Norfolk & Norwich University Hospital has been dubbed the "unacceptable face of capitalism" by a group of MPs.

The House of Commons public accounts committee has accused the Octagon consortium of making tens of millions of pounds by refinancing loans and not passing on the benefit to the hospital trust.

Serco, 3i and Barclays, the members of the consortium, earned £116m by refinancing loans used to pay for the hospital's construction. But the committee will claim in a report out today that the trust only received £34m of that money "despite taking on substantial new risks following the refinancing".

The committee's chairman, Edward Leigh, said in the Daily Telegraph: "Even though this was an early PFI deal, it is hard to escape the conclusion that the staff managing the project were not up to the rough and tumble of negotiating refinancing proposals within the private sector.

"My committee would not expect to see appearing before it another accounting officer defending what we believe to be the unacceptable face of capitalism. Such a face was shown by this private sector consortium in its dealings with the public sector."

Leigh's comments follow from the recent reforms to the PFI announced in the Budget which called for greater skills in the public sector.