Wednesday, 31 August 2011

In praise of Vince and the FSB - a tale of whingeing bankers

Hooray yet again for Saint Vince Cable, the Lib Dem Business Secretary, who is apparently fighting the good fight within Government for worthwhile banking reform to happen as soon as possible. A pleasant word also for the Federation of Small Businesses for backing him up by pointing out that the bankers' words in this case don't hold water.

The Bankers, their paid lobbyists in the CBI and their apologists in the Tory Party, are claiming that they shouldn't be subject to significant reform. And if they lose that case (which it seems they will), they want any reform to be delayed until those pesky Lib Dems are out of government.

Step forward Vince who is not prepared to wait until 10 years after the banking crisis started to see reform implemented.

There is legitimate debate about what sort of reform is right. We have the Stern Review (what a great name for an inquiry) reporting very soon and they are expected to agree with Vince that the retail arms of the banks should be separated in some way from the casino elements that brought our economy to its knees.

Stern is also likely to suggest that the banks should, er, bank some of their money in order to guard against another rainy day. Oh no, whinge the banks. If you do that then we won't have as much money to lend to businesses and so the economy won't recover very fast. Their lapdogs in the CBI are particularly keen to make this point.

Up steps the excellent man from the corner shop, sorry, FSB, who points out that business lending makes up only 5% of the total and that the banks seem to be pretty reluctant to lend anything to anyone at the moment anyway. After all, they are too busy getting their squillionaire bonus payment cheques written.

But Chancellor George has been lobbied very hard whilst he was on his hols and he seems inclined to put the reforms on hold. And so it will fall to the Lib Dems to sound the clarion call for common sense (and the common man) once again.

And it has the added bonus of annoying the Daily Mail.

1 comment:

JohnM said...

so many banking apologists are being lined up by the BBC to give an 'expert view'. And Vince's words are so heavily edited. Yet another reason for our own free channel.