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UK banks must be allowed to grow again

In what is turning out to be a significant flip-flop of government policy, Treasury Minister Lord Myners has today suggested that UK banks must be allowed to grow again so that they can compete on a worldwide stage. This comment, while aimed at the Conservative party policy of reducing the impact and strength of the UK banking sector, is totally at odds with earlier suggestions by both Alistair Darling and Gordon Brown. Yet again, there is confusion at the highest level of the UK government and the banking sector is again hitting the headlines for all the wrong reasons.

When considering the wider picture, there is a necessity for the UK banking sector to be allowed to rebase and regenerate in the future otherwise the UK economy will suffer in the longer term. The UK financial sector has historically held a strong position in the worldwide market which has allowed the country to have a significant impact upon many investment markets around the world.

While there is no doubt that in the short term there is a need for consolidation in the sector, the medium to longer term situation should be structured in such a way as to allow controlled growth - while ensuring that the level of risk-taking seen over the last decade is eliminated or significantly reduced.

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