Breaking up banks would be bad for the economy, says Worcester's MP

Worcester MP Robin Walker

Worcester MP Robin Walker

First published in News
Last updated
Worcester News: Tom Edwards by , Political Reporter

WORCESTER MP Robin Walker has criticised calls to break up the banks - saying he fears it would harm the economy.

Mr Walker said he is concerned it could lead to plunging share prices, branch closures and job losses.

At the end of last week Labour Party leader Ed Miliband said the country's five biggest banks are too powerful and wants them broken up.

He said they should be forced to "give up" branches in place of smaller start-ups or co-operative style organisations.

Mr Walker said: "There's no evidence at all that it will increase lending or help the economy and frankly, I think it's irresponsible.

"One thing that will stop banks from lending to businesses is a lengthy re-organisation.

"If you look at Worcester, we've had problems with branches closing and I don't think a cap on the number of branches a bank can have will make it an easier, it will only accelerate that.

"It's bad for employment and the High Street."

The 'big five' banks - HSBC, Barclays, RBS, Santander and Lloyds Banking Group - account for the majority of bank customers and lending.

Mr Miliband said the current banking system is "broken" and believes one way of restoring public confidence is more competitors.

He also said the public are tired of bankers being rewarded excessively, and that allowing new firms to enter the market would create more jobs, not result in employment suffering.

Comments (2)

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9:35pm Tue 21 Jan 14

voledog says...

Robin really shouldn't worry, I'm sure they won't be splitting up his bank accounts at the same time. I've just looked through Robin Walker's declaration of interests. Interestingly enough, on top of his salary as an MP over the last two years, he's earned around £68000 for doing the grand total of 116 hours of work for various companies. That's £586.20 per hour. It would be interesting to know if Mr Walker shares George Osborne's concern that raising the minimum wage above any more than £7 per hour over the next few year would be extremely dangerous.
Robin really shouldn't worry, I'm sure they won't be splitting up his bank accounts at the same time. I've just looked through Robin Walker's declaration of interests. Interestingly enough, on top of his salary as an MP over the last two years, he's earned around £68000 for doing the grand total of 116 hours of work for various companies. That's £586.20 per hour. It would be interesting to know if Mr Walker shares George Osborne's concern that raising the minimum wage above any more than £7 per hour over the next few year would be extremely dangerous. voledog
  • Score: 1

9:27am Wed 22 Jan 14

thesquirrel says...

I feel all this talk of forcing banks to sell off branches seems very antiquated. I bank online and visit a branch less than once a year, usually because I have a cheque to pay in. On the odd occasion I find myself in a bank I do wonder what people are actually doing in there!

As time goes by and more people switch to banking online and I expect the necessity for a high street presence will fall. They'll probably move out of town (not sure why they haven't done that already).

You've got to hand it to Labour though, it's great electioneering. Everybody loves a bit of banker bashing.
I feel all this talk of forcing banks to sell off branches seems very antiquated. I bank online and visit a branch less than once a year, usually because I have a cheque to pay in. On the odd occasion I find myself in a bank I do wonder what people are actually doing in there! As time goes by and more people switch to banking online and I expect the necessity for a high street presence will fall. They'll probably move out of town (not sure why they haven't done that already). You've got to hand it to Labour though, it's great electioneering. Everybody loves a bit of banker bashing. thesquirrel
  • Score: -1

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