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.