David Prosser: Honesty is always the best policy
Wednesday 25 November 2009
Outlook The scale of the loans provided in October 2008 to HBOS and Royal Bank of Scotland are breathtaking, but the fact the Bank of England has managed to keep them secret until a time of its own choosing is also interesting. A little over a year previously, when news leaked out that the Bank was providing emergency funding to Northern Rock, there was a noisy protest that the lender of last resort could no longer intervene discreetly before banking crises got out of hand. But this is exactly what the Bank then managed to do at HBOS and RBS, thanks to new powers given to it following the Rock affair.
More importantly, whether the Bank's interventions remained a secret or not seems to have made no difference to the final outcome. Northern Rock was, in the end, nationalised in order to save it from total collapse. Both HBOS, even after being taken under Lloyds's wing, and RBS suffered the same fate, even if shareholders have retained stakes.
Indeed, the Bank's insistence yesterday that it had no choice but to keep these loans secret seems odd. It could have disclosed them at the time, adding that the Government stood squarely behind both institutions and would not allow them to fail under any circumstances.
In any case, it was clear last autumn that both banks were already drawing very heavily on emergency support such as the special liquidity scheme, and it's not as if no-one knew they were in difficulties. Indeed, yesterday's disclosure of this "emergency liquidity assistance" as the Bank describes it, should be followed by publication of much greater detail of which banks have used other facilities, and to what extent.
- 1 Rarest Beanie Baby bought for just £10 at car boot sale could be sold for £62,500 on eBay
- 2 Katie Hopkins and The Sun editor David Dinsmore reported to police for incitement to racial hatred following migrant boat column
- 3 Parma, Missouri: 80 per cent of town's police quit after first black mayor is elected
- 4 Australian student Tommy Connolly, 23, adopts his pregnant, homeless 17-year-old cousin to give her a chance at 'a better life'
- 5 Google search history can now be downloaded in its entirety, mass embarrassment expected
Rarest Beanie Baby bought for just £10 at car boot sale could be sold for £62,500 on eBay
Katie Hopkins and The Sun editor David Dinsmore reported to police for incitement to racial hatred following migrant boat column
'Jihadi John': Isis executioner Mohammed Emwazi wanted to wage jihad in Somalia until his friends were betrayed and killed by al-Shabaab
Parma, Missouri: 80 per cent of town's police quit after first black mayor is elected
Australian student Tommy Connolly, 23, adopts his pregnant, homeless 17-year-old cousin to give her a chance at 'a better life'
If I’m being racially abused I don’t need a stranger with a saviour complex to rescue me
The only black face in the Ukip manifesto is on the page about overseas aid
Ukip is the only main political party to not address LGBT rights in its manifesto
Food banks: One million Britons will soon be using them, according to Trussell Trust
Religion isn't growing, it is becoming vigorous in its demise, says philosopher AC Grayling
BBC election debate: The one photo that summed up the whole 90-minute leaders debate
iJobs Money & Business
£60000 - £70000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: A highly successful, glo...
£30 - 35k (DOE): Guru Careers: We are seeking a Pricing Analyst with experienc...
£24000 - £26000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: A highly successful, glo...
£21000 - £24000 per annum: Ashdown Group: The Ashdown Group has been engaged b...