Inflation too high, says Pitman
Saturday 29 July 1995
Sir Brian, not known for public outbursts, has previously praised the Government for its tough stance on inflation and has urged industry to adapt.
But yesterday, he made his support for the Bank of England's monetary policy crystal clear and left no doubt that he thinks interest rates should rise.
Attacking what he saw as the Government's laxity over rising prices, Sir Brian said: "Over the last three months, inflation has moved up to more than 3 per cent, and it is moving up, not down. We regard controlling inflation as absolutely key to our [Britain's] success. I hope everyone is absolutely committed to that.
"I certainly haven't seen quite as much action as I would have liked to keep it down."
Sir Brian said perceptions were everything, and the UK now needed a signal similar to that which Alan Greenspan, chairman of the Federal Reserve, gave in February last year when he raised interest rates by a quarter of a per cent.
"I don't like inflation above 3 per cent. It changes perceptions. You have to take action before inflation takes off," said Sir Brian. He acknowledged the Government's predicament, but stressed: "You have to take the bottle away before the party starts. You're unpopular when you do that."
A Treasury spokesman responded last night: "The Chancellor and the Governor of the Bank of England have both said repeatedly that they are committed to keeping inflation down. The Chancellor has put in place the overall framework to hit inflation targets - less than 2.5 per cent by the end of this Parliament. These targets are the basis of their monthly meetings."
Sir Brian's attack came as he unveiled a 21 per cent rise in profits to pounds 735m for the first half of the year to the end of June.
This came despite a surprise pounds 120m general provision against future losses. The provision balanced a pounds 193m one-off gain from Lloyds' sale of stakes in 3i and Standard Chartered. Lloyds shares rose 13p to 677p.
Lloyds kicked off the bank half-yearly reporting season with a bang. Sir Robin Ibbs, chairman, rejected union accusations that Lloyds' latest strategic review, Project Martini, would result in 10,000 job cuts, branding it a "scare story".
The chairman said the project would improve customer service and involved "nothing like the change" banking union Bifu had indicated.
Sir Brian Pitman added that intense competition meant staff numbers would continue to be cut, but "in a natural way, not with sudden redundancies".
Lloyds rejected a Bifu suggestion that Sir Brian stood to make pounds 1m from cashing in share options. A Lloyds spokeswoman confirmed the chief executive had 443,645 share options priced on average at pounds 3.93, compared to yesterday's closing price of 677p. He had not exercised any options yet, she said.
The spokeswoman added: "All Lloyds staff are entitled to share options. Staff receive 6.92 per cent of their basic salaries in share options or cash this year. Sir Brian became chief executive in 1983. He is a long- term shareholder. He has no directorships elsewhere. He has dedicated himself to Lloyds Bank."
Analysts generally welcomed Lloyds' results, which included a 15 per cent increase in the half year dividend to 8.6p. They questioned whether this dividend growth would be sustainable following the pounds 1.8bn purchase of Cheltenham & Gloucester, which becomes effective on Monday.
elephant appealThe first 23 lots in our charity auction have now gone. But there are 22 more still up for grabs
musicPolice chief rejects rappers' claims that his work is as dangerous as law enforcement or military service
comedy'Fresh Meat' star sees off stiff competition from Alan Carr, David Mitchell, Graham Norton, Lee Mack and Sarah Millican to win top prize
Beatles rush out 'bootleg' album to defy EU copyright law
healthJames Bond's alcohol consumption puts him at 'high risk' of cirrhosis, tremors... and impotence
Harvey Weinstein reveals his secret weapon on-set
Now that an oil trader's drinking has got him sacked, will we all have to make do with an afternoon latte?
Chiwetel Ejiofor and Idris Elba get nods for Best Actor, which no black Brit has ever won
Geoffrey Macnab reviews The Desolation of Smaug - the meat in Peter Jackson's Hobbit sandwich
peopleWhat advice would David Cameron give to his younger self?
French café starts charging extra to rude customers
Mystery of Epping Forest 'big cat' is solved
North Korea executes Kim Jong Un's powerful uncle Jang Song Thaek for 'attempting to overthrow the state'
Australia incest case: Deformed children found in remote farming community after generations of inbreeding
Fox News presenter tells viewers it is a 'fact' that both Jesus and Santa Claus are white
- 1 French café starts charging extra to rude customers
- 2 Sun will 'flip upside down' within weeks, says Nasa
- 3 Australia incest case: Deformed children found in remote farming community after generations of inbreeding
- 4 Physicists discover 'clearest evidence yet' that the Universe is a hologram
- 5 Fox News presenter tells viewers it is a 'fact' that both Jesus and Santa Claus are white
- < Previous
- Next >
iJobs Money & Business
£44999 - £60001 per annum + Benefits: Pro-Recruitment Group: A Top Tier firm i...
£30000 - £45000 per annum + Bonus + Benefits: Harrington Starr: Regulatory Man...
£50000 - £75000 per annum + benefits + bonus: Harrington Starr: Pre-Sales / Cl...
£40000 - £60000 per annum + Bonus + Benefits: Harrington Starr: Regulatory Man...