* Opposition seeks amendments to banking bill
* Wants financial crimes unit within SFO
* UK has already appointed cross-party commission on reform
* Bank Standards Commission will make recommendations in May (Adds further detail on Labour proposals, background)
By Matt Scuffham and William Schomberg
LONDON, April 16 (Reuters) - Britain opposition Labour party on Tuesday proposed requiring bankers to be licensed to help stamp out the kind of scandals that have hit the City of London (LSE: CIN.L - news) in recent years.
"The Libor rigging and mis-selling scandals were not the product of one or two rogue individuals but fundamental failures of standards within the banks - and we need to raise professional integrity with a stronger licensing power as a result," said Labour lawmaker Chris Leslie.
Britain's financial regulator has blocked just 30 out of over 200,000 applications to the sector's most risk-sensitive jobs since the banking crisis erupted, and the current system is widely seen to be inadequate.
Among other changes sought by Labour to a banking reform bill currently making its way through parliament are the creation of a new financial crimes unit within the existing Serious Fraud Office,and immunity for whistle-blowers who reveal bad behaviour by banks.
Some of the proposals are already being considered by a cross-party parliamentary committee tasked with finding ways to change the culture of Britain's banking industry.
The Parliamentary Commission on Banking Standards is due to publish its final recommendations in May and the government is unlikely to consider amendments to the legislation before then, political sources told Reuters.
The reform bill is currently focused on structural reform of the industry to protect taxpayers in the event of future bank failures. The banking standards commission has scrutinised the bill, and finance minister George Osborne has accepted its proposal to reinforce the ringfence protecting retail operations from riskier investment banking activities.
The commission is also making separate recommendations for reform of the banking culture, which the government will decide whether to add to the bill. Measures to improve competition and to rein in risk-taking are being considered.
The commission was set up after scandals including the manipulation of Libor interbank interest rates, the mis-selling of insurance products and the near-collapse of several British banks in 2008 and 2009, which plunged Britain into recession.
Last week, it published a damning report into the demise of HBOS that led to the bank's former chief executive, James Crosby, volunteering to give up his knighthood.
Osborne does not have to implement proposals agreed by the commission, which was set up with the backing of all three major political parties.
Labour also criticised the government's bank levy, a tax on banks' balance sheets, which it said had raised nearly 2 billion pounds ($3 billion) less than intended since its introduction in 2011. ($1 = 0.6507 British pounds) (Editing by Kevin Liffey)