Simon English: Sorry and thank you - that's all bankers should say
Friday 15 June 2012
Outlook Another day, another moan from the banking lobby (for bankers, a score-draw must be treated as a crushing defeat, even if they are privately chortling into G&T's and wondering how they got away with it again).
The Vickers' proposals to stop banks being such a risk to the rest of us either go too far or not far enough depending on taste, but given what the banks owe the public, a period of silence from them is long overdue either way. Sorry and thank you, is pretty well all we should have to listen to them say for some time yet.
One of the complaints from the banks is that because Vickers' costs so many billions to implement and because it makes bank funding more expensive, it in turn cuts off loans to entrepreneurs and strangles the economy.
But if that's true, it must in turn also save the taxpayer billions in lower government funding costs.
That the Bank of England is buying so many UK government gilts is one reason why UK bond yields are so low compared to the eurozone. But Vickers is surely another reason why UK bond yields are meagre. The debt markets understand that the UK Government will no longer be on the hook for a large bank failure in the UK.
So Vickers will save the taxpayer money, whatever the bankers say.
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