Simple Scissors

Reforms could teach ‘Masters of the Universe’ that the customer is King but making switching easier is only half the answer

Move Your Money’s comment on George Osborne’s speech on Monday 4th February, promising to ‘electrify’ the ring fence around retail banks.

In a speech on banking reform the Chancellor has called for powers to break up the banks and make switching easier and faster.
 
In response to the Chancellor’s speech Move Your Money’s Chief Executive, Laura Willoughby MBE said:
 
“The banks have held us hostage, both as taxpayers and customers.  Only the threat of full separation can ensure that taxpayers will never again have to reach into their pockets to bail out failed banks.  
 
The bankers may like to think of themselves as ‘masters of the universe’, but these reforms could force them to learn the hard way that the customer is always king.”

However, she cautioned that:
 
“Making switching easier is only half the answer. More needs to be done to force banks to be transparent about what they’re charging their customers, otherwise there can be no real competition.”
 
In response to Chief Executive of the British Bankers Association, Anthony Browne’s claim that reforms will make it harder for banks to raise investment and so reduce their ability to lend to businesses, Laura Willoughby said:
 
“The British Bankers Association is yet again putting the short term interests of its members over the UK economy.  The threat of full separation is a necessary cornerstone in efforts to rebuild public trust in British banking. The taxpayer cannot and will not be forced to bail out the banks again.  
 
Banks which follow the letter and spirit of the law have nothing to fear from these reforms. Law-abiding banks will create a clear and credible plan for implementing the ring-fence that will give investors the confidence they need.   The only thing generating uncertainty for investors is banks dragging their heels and trying to ‘hop the fence’.”
 

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