11 April 2011

Banks report has making of another tuition fees fiasco

The report by academic banker, Sir John Vickers, that basically allows the mega banks to carry on pretty much as they were has all the hallmarks of another high profile independent review. That of Lord Browne's review of student tuition fees.

On publication of that report Vince Cable said, 'The government endorses the main thrust of the report' before going on to explain these were interim proposals and that he would endeavour to make changes more in line with Lib Dem policy.

Now fast forward six months and you have the sound of Nick Clegg welcoming the Vickers report this morning on the today programme. Now I don't know whether the Vickers' proposals will be significantly changed between launch and implementation, but if the experience of the Browne/tuition fees fiasco is anything to go by then the chances of really tough action on the casino bankers is seems unlikely.

It's clear that those banks 'too big to fail' are just simply 'too big'. I'm not convinced simply selling off a few (hundred) branches here and there (who to?) will increase competition. Ring fencing consumer banking within mega banks - when the risks of what used to be called merchant banking are hidden in a minefield of financial vehicles so obtuse no-one knows where they really lie - sounds like a recipe for disaster.

As usual the party's Estonian outpost puts the case much better than I (or indeed Sir John) can.

No comments:

Post a Comment