BBC BLOGS - Have Your Say
« Previous | Main | Next »

Should high street banks be broken up?

16:46 UK time, Saturday, 22 January 2011

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg has told the BBC the UK banking sector must be reformed so taxpayers are never again liable for its mistakes. But would reform ensure proper competition and choice for consumers?

Mr Clegg said he was "attracted" to the idea of splitting up banks into separate retail and investment businesses.

His comments come the day after Sir John Vickers, the head of the coalition government's review of banking, called for wide-ranging reform.

What do you think about Mr Clegg's proposals? Do we need more competition in the banking sector?

Thank you for your comments. This debate is now closed.

Comments

Page 1 of 7

  • Comment number 1.

    I suggest to reform our social benefits including banking. Poor people should be offered to borrow money for lower interest rates, and savings in higher rates.

  • Comment number 2.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 3.

    Should high street banks be broken up?
    If they always do what they have always done
    we will always get what we have always got..Corruption with a bonus.!!!

  • Comment number 4.

    We certainly need to get rid of the gambling dens in banks where the gamblers always win and the hard workers of this country always lose.

  • Comment number 5.

    It would be a start to split retail banking from the cowboy banking but not enough on its own. More regulation on how banks finance/capitalise themselves and much more regulation on the types of merchant bank financing that goes on. The fact that one part of Goldman Sachs was able to bet against the failure of a product built by another part of Goldman Sachs is a crime that should not be possible to be repeated.

    I see that already BBC bias has been mentioned here - it really is laughable and sad how this now seems to occur on every BBC blog whatever the topic.

  • Comment number 6.

    Capitalism need breaking up, forget about the banks we wouldn't need them!

  • Comment number 7.

    If it means the taxpayer won't be the eventual fall guy, yes. If a taxpayer is expected to manage and look after their money properly, why shouldn't we expect banks and financial institutions to do the same with our savings?

  • Comment number 8.

    Hammer and chisel for hire!

  • Comment number 9.

    2. At 5:28pm on 22 Jan 2011, Trench Broom wrote:

    It's no surprise to see the level of hatred being levelled at the Banks, given that the televised media is controlled by the left wing who hate our free market system.
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Free? In what sense is it free? Did you mean unregulated and out of control?

    The BBC merely appears biased because it's neutral unlike the bilge pumped out by Murdoch's empire.

  • Comment number 10.

    Yes.
    Next question?

  • Comment number 11.

    Yes, Sir John Vickers said "plans to separate bank trading and retail operations were being looked at. These may require banks to put their investment arms into separate entities that could be allowed to collapse." Good idea but why only "could" be allowed to collapse? Surly if the banking sector believes there is ever ready tax payer money to bail them out they will continue to take unacceptable risks.
    I can't see it happening though, banks own governments

  • Comment number 12.

    I thought people opted for the bigger banks because they offer more security against going bust? It's a shame they abuse the trust they are given

  • Comment number 13.

    Yes. What I still don't understand is that the claims are that the retail sections make good profits and as we know the investment sections lose money yet the bonuses go to those in the investment section.
    I'd love to see how RBS gets on if its split up, I reckon the branches will be fine but the investment side will collapse. If this happens, there will be no point in saving the investment side as all savings will be safe in the retail side and we taxpayers won't have to fork out a zillion quid to keep them afloat.
    Get on with it I say.

  • Comment number 14.

    The trading arms may be the areas that have caused the problems however the size of the banks is a bigger problem. With all the mergers and takeovers that have taken place, if a bank gets into trouble then the effects are multiplied. If the banks were smaller then the impact of one failing would not be as dramatic. It is a real shame that smaller banks and building societies have disappeared. Competition has been reduced and we now have to put up with a homogenous banking system.

    The personal touch has long been lost, to a large degree, just like it has in many other high street businesses.

    Break the banks up into smaller banks - if the trading arm is part of it then fair enough - and then we will see how the majors really perform.

  • Comment number 15.

    of course they should be broken up as should be the large supermarkets , insurance companies etc
    They are to large to control therefore they run by their own rules corrupting the society that they control petrol companies do not work together neither do buikding companies nor the local shopkeepers in the high street so how come the independants go out of business first
    no its not gobbledegook read between the lines

  • Comment number 16.

    I would have to say yes to the suggested reforms of the banks putting their investment arms into separate entities so that they could be allowed to collapse whilst protecting the retail operations.

    The UK tax payer must never again be put in a situation where they have to bail out the banks.

  • Comment number 17.

    The other thing I don't understand are Credit Default Swaps. As far as I can see, its a bit like betting on a horse but in fact its betting on the owner of an owner of an owner of a horse. Not being a horse, it seems very unlikely that the owner will win so it doesn't so everyone loses.

    If there are any CDS experts out there with 5 minutes spare to post an explanation I'd be delighted to read about it.

  • Comment number 18.

    9. At 5:41pm on 22 Jan 2011, Billythefirst wrote:

    2. At 5:28pm on 22 Jan 2011, Trench Broom wrote:

    It's no surprise to see the level of hatred being levelled at the Banks, given that the televised media is controlled by the left wing who hate our free market system.
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Free? In what sense is it free? Did you mean unregulated and out of control?

    The BBC merely appears biased because it's neutral unlike the bilge pumped out by Murdoch's empire.


    All media is biased.

  • Comment number 19.

    john 3626 @ 17 - I think it works like this.

    Buy a bond from Bank A - they are then due you interest payments and a repayment on an agreed date.

    Buy a Credit Default Swap from Bank B - they will pay out to you if Bank A defaults on interest or capital to you.

    Goldman Sachs set up complicated versions of both the above and then made sackloads of money by betting on the defaults - genius or criminal - you decide.

    Note CDS in theory are fine if used for genuine risk management.

  • Comment number 20.

    Yes -the Banks should be broken-up so that the man in the street can obtain decent Banking services without subsidising the fat Cats and their gambling - let them go and play with their own money and not look to us next time they are caught short !

  • Comment number 21.

    No knee-jerk reactions to satisfy the public, please. Yes, look into how they can be improved by all means. But no more rushing in headlong. There is plenty of time now to sort this one out. Get this one wrong, and we will all pay an even higher price.

  • Comment number 22.

    I thought the US had in the past made this separation....and then reversed the decision.....which lead us to the mess we're in now! To compound matters Gormless Gordon sat there like a muppet watching the whole edifice cracking around its clay feet - he was also aided and abetted by his mates in the F(ood)S(tandards)A(gency). Probably too busy raiding pension funds & throwing staplers at the office lackeys.

    The prospect of another NewLieMore government, coupled with unfettered greed in banking .....'tis the stuff of nightmares!

    Just imagine Balls-up & Millipede (The talking union horse), running the country.....sterling would soon resemble the Iranian Rial in value!

  • Comment number 23.

    Thatcher deregulated banks leading to this chaos - If banks were properly regulated breaking them up would not be necessary.

    But as we have Thatcher's child - then YES OF COURSE!!

  • Comment number 24.

    Ah another thread about BBC bias! I am convinced that Tory Central Office's rota monitoring the BBC HYS has a policy to post aBBC is biased message at least onece an hour. It has never been true. The BBC does a reasonable job of balancing the topics it proposes and the only bias shown here is from the public posting messages.

    Should the banks be broken up? This is a bit perjorative. The issue is that regulation of banking is needed that achieves a desired effect.

    That effect should be that the banks used by ordinary members of the public to bank and save should be tightly regulated so that they compete with each other but maintain assets sufficient to replay every penny of the assets entrusted to them. They should provide loans to customers based on them being credit worthy and largely secured against realisable assets owned by that bank. Such banks should not allowed to trade debts with other banks.

    Banks that deal with other aspects of the economy, granting loans to business and each other should be requlated but legally separate from those serving the general public. They should be given more scope but still required to secure all loans against assets they control.


  • Comment number 25.

    The British people should never be put in the position of having to bail out the banks again, and in the process nearly bankrupt the country.

    The bankers seem to be the people come out of this the best, large bonus's and all, while the poorer you are the more pain you get

  • Comment number 26.

    23. At 6:11pm on 22 Jan 2011, RichardGrey wrote:

    Thatcher deregulated banks leading to this chaos - If banks were properly regulated breaking them up would not be necessary.

    But as we have Thatcher's child - then YES OF COURSE!!


    I wonder who the first poster would be to blame Margaret Thatcher. You never disappoint.

  • Comment number 27.

    Independent Commission?
    One member was a Co-CEO at JP Morgan Investment bank.
    Another an International Advisor to Goldman Sachs.

  • Comment number 28.

    Of course there should be separate kinds of banks-One where you you have your normal current account that is looked after carefully and if necessary you have to pay a fee for.Secondly, a bank that may decide to take risks with punter's, sorry customer's, money who are aware that this is the case and stand to win or lose depending on the outcome.
    I don't remember, a long time ago, when my wife and I started up a joint account, that the bank manager mentioned to us that while they'd got our money they'd gamble with it, with a possibility that if they lost too much we'd have to stand that loss( whilst they would still be handsomely rewarded)-does anyone else?
    Thinking about it, such behaviour is tantamount to misappropriation of funds, isn't it? People have been jailed for way less than that.
    While I'm on a roll, it's a fact that a good number of bank employees "enjoy" a similar status to me,i.e. they are employees of the government, Public Sector workers.As such they should be teated the same and if in receipt of a salary more than £21,000 p.a. they should be subject to the Public Sector pay freeze that us mere mortals are.Oh, and consider themselves lucky, like the rest of us, that they still have a job, at least for a little while yet!!

  • Comment number 29.

    I think it is time that government re-tracted support and STOPPED guaranteeing the banks and the money they currently gamble with.

    It is outrageous that even now, the money bank investors gamble with is backed by British taxpayers.

    Hence ALL these bonuses are as a DIRECT result of UK taxpayers being guarantors, yet we3 do NOT receive ANY bonus.

    If this backing money was attained on the open market, then banks would NOT be making such bonuses, if at all. The fact they ARE making bonuses is because UK taxpayers are providing a guarantor service FREE OF CHARGE.

    Also, it does NOT matter if banks are broken up or not, what matters is the ratio of funds that they have to pay out. Currently it is around 10%/11%. Hence 90% of customers who have money deposited in banks have NO CHANCE of getting their money back.

    It is FACTUALLY WORSE NOW than 2 years ago.

    The FACT of the matter is, is that even though UK government is guaranteeing the banks, the government do NOT HAVE the funds either, OR access to such funds.

    We are FACTUALLY surviving on a FIXED bubble of "confidence".

    What does this mean??

    It does NOT mean that if bank account holders all wanted their money that they could have it, because they CANNOT, its NOT THERE, IT DOES NOT EXIST.

    All I can see happening is moving the bubble around, chopping it up a bit, but FACTUALLY it will STILL EXIST, just in different sized packages.

    The PLAIN FACT OF THE MATTER IS THAT SPLITTING BANKS UP WILL NOT MAKE ANT DIFFERENCE.

    ALL THE BANKS ARE TIED UP TOGETHER, FACT.

    Just think for a second, ASK YOURSELF, what happened in banking collapse.

    Just ONE BANK got into serious trouble and this bank OWED MONEY TO ALL THE OTHERS.

    The SAME APPLYS NOW.

    If banks were split up, they would ALL STILL be borrowing from one another, and if ONE goes down, it TAKES OTHERS WITH IT, FACT.

    Pretending that investment banks can be seperated from high street banks and such a split would ultimately protect taxpayers is just BLATANT DECEIT.

    Because they are presently so tied up & twisted together in vastly complicated loans & derivatives etc it is IMPOSSIBLE to UN-TWIST these complications.

    Dont forget that loans etc are contracted YEARS into the future.

    The present situation is this-

    If banks get into further trouble in the next TWENTY to THIRTY + YEARS, we are DOOMED.
    Thats a LONG LONG TIME for NO FURTHER SERIOUS PROBLEMS TO MATERIALISE.

    I personally have MINIMUM funds in banks, because for one FACT, they do NOT have the funds to pay out ALL the money that is deposited with them and UK government ALSO does NOT have the money, or access to it to cover the excess that banks CANNOT provide.

    My money is working for me in physical/material goods. If anything goes wrong, I may not have loads of cash but I have LOADS of goods which can be bartered with/sold.

    After all, money is JUST PAPER.

    Whats of REAL VALUE, a SHEEP, or a bit of paper that FACTUALLY CANNOT BE GUARANTEED ITS WORTH/VALUE.

  • Comment number 30.

    Yes, the 'boring' banking bits (current accounts, sensible backed lending) should be hived off and State guaranteed. The gambling dens should be cut loose to gamble with their own money, rather than the taxpayers'. And, while we're at it, give the right to grant mortgages back to building societies where the motive is looking after their members rather than to banks where it's all about profit.

  • Comment number 31.

    "I believe that banking institutions are more dangerous than standing armies. If the people ever allow private banks to control the issue of their currency, first by inflation, then by deflation, the banks and corporations that will grow up around (the banks) will deprive the people of all property until their children wake-up homeless on the continent their father conquered. The issuing power should be taken from the banks and restored to the people, to whom it properly belongs." T. Jefferson (1743-1826)

  • Comment number 32.

    27. At 6:17pm on 22 Jan 2011, paulmerhaba wrote:

    Independent Commission?
    One member was a Co-CEO at JP Morgan Investment bank.
    Another an International Advisor to Goldman Sachs


    Who do you suggest should be on a commission about banking?

  • Comment number 33.

    Every business should never be allowed to be in a position that it cannot fail.

    Sir John Vickers appears to be his own man, which is a good start.

  • Comment number 34.

    I am appalled by comment #2 which seem to suggest that it's dangerously left wing to say that banks should be properly regulated.

    It is WITHOUT DOUBT that our current financial mess is due to the unbridled free market dogma as applied in particular to financial institutions. (I recommend 'The Gods that Failed' as required reading for anyone who questions this).

    I don't have sufficient background knowledge of the sector to know whether breaking banks up is the answer although instinctively I feel that separating the 'high street banking' side of the business from the high risk, gambling, investment side has to make sense - I really don't want that sort of gambling going on with my money.

    What we certainly need is better regulation and politicians who will stand up to financiers. OK, I loathe the shower we have in at the moment and I don't for one minute expect they will be any more resolute than Labour (after all New Labour = neo conservative). Both parties have sold their souls to free market-ism and have sold the country's soul too.

    But at least we elect politicians and can vote them out. Bankers wield their power in secret, without even that brake on their activities, and behind very firmly shut doors.

  • Comment number 35.

    I'm not sure I really care how the banks are structured as long as I, and other taxpayers, manage to sell our shares for a profit at some point. After that, I don't care how they're structured as long as they don't want me to save them again if they make unwise decisions.

    As an aside; I find it a little bizarre that people are so vehemently anti-bank. Perhaps I'm the only one who remembers the wall-to-wall property porn on the telly and in print only a few years ago. Grand Designs, Location Location Location, Property Ladder, a Place in the Sun, New Life in the Country and so on. And those were the good ones. We could all be rich flipping properties or releasing equity to buy flash cars or go on flash holidays. Companies sold courses on how to build property empires. And people lapped it up. Easy money. The banks were pushing at an open door when it came to selling mortgages. And the public have to accept some responsibility for that. At least as much responsibility as the banks. Perhaps when people criticize the banks they're just trying to evade their own role in the situation because they're ashamed of their greed and naïvety. Just a thought.

  • Comment number 36.

    IMHO we need a three tier banking system.
    Tier 1 -- dealing with international finance , merchant banking and investments. :- Basically a bank that deals only with money between banks and other financial institutions.

    Tier 2 -- Banks that deal exclusively with National and International trading companies, who require major financial services. Inter-company stock broking services, but not derivatives.

    Tier 3 -- "Local" Banks that deal with small businesses, retail customers, and provide mortgages for business and housing stocks, and stock broking services for retail customers (only)

    Once the tiers are agreed a stipulation should be made that if a company (bank) trades in any tier, it cannot own or operate any other organisation or subsidiary in any of the other tiers. Then the banks who are competing with each other are doing so on a level playing field.
    Retail banks to be limited to say 100 branches , with the current semi-monopoly being broken up to provide a real degree of competition in the marketplace. New entrants could be floated via the "Credit Unions", with government backing and support.

    Then maybe this is to simplistic a solution ???

  • Comment number 37.

    Should high street banks be broken up?
    Sadly a vast majority of MPs are closely linked to the Banking system and have been for Hundreds of Years, so their will be very little change unless the Banks want it.
    If they don't want change they have nothing to fear.
    We, the British Tax payer will be on hand to bail them out, yet again.
    For British Tax payer see... Absolute mugs!!

  • Comment number 38.

    35. At 6:38pm on 22 Jan 2011, CarlRigby wrote:
    I'm not sure I really care how the banks are structured as long as I, and other taxpayers, manage to sell our shares for a profit at some point. After that, I don't care how they're structured as long as they don't want me to save them again if they make unwise decisions.

    As an aside; I find it a little bizarre that people are so vehemently anti-bank. Perhaps I'm the only one who remembers the wall-to-wall property porn on the telly and in print only a few years ago. Grand Designs, Location Location Location, Property Ladder, a Place in the Sun, New Life in the Country and so on. And those were the good ones. We could all be rich flipping properties or releasing equity to buy flash cars or go on flash holidays. Companies sold courses on how to build property empires. And people lapped it up. Easy money. The banks were pushing at an open door when it came to selling mortgages. And the public have to accept some responsibility for that. At least as much responsibility as the banks. Perhaps when people criticize the banks they're just trying to evade their own role in the situation because they're ashamed of their greed and naïvety. Just a thought.


    Yes, the credit fuelled property boom of the late nineties and early noughties was the root cause of the financial crisis. Whoever said there was no more boom and bust should be a little bit embarrassed about that claim now.

  • Comment number 39.

    Ha! With the Bullingdon Boys in power, it would probably be easier to introduce corporal punishment for bank managers.

  • Comment number 40.

    16. At 5:52pm on 22 Jan 2011, Magi Tatcher wrote:
    I would have to say yes to the suggested reforms of the banks putting their investment arms into separate entities so that they could be allowed to collapse whilst protecting the retail operations.

    The UK tax payer must never again be put in a situation where they have to bail out the banks.
    ==============================
    I would like to take the opportunity to agree with a Magi Tathcher comment (a rarity) and thank you for your kind comments from the other day...

  • Comment number 41.

    Strange how His Majestyship Mandyboy has got his feet under the desk at Lazard ...LONDON, Jan 21 (Reuters) - Former British government minister Peter Mandelson has become a senior adviser to Lazard (LAZ.N), the bank that masterminded Kraft Foods' (KFT.N) 11.6 billion pound ($18.4 billion) takeover of Cadbury a year ago.

    Mandelson, secretary of state for business under the UK's previous Labour government, joins a network of advisers that includes Archie Norman, the chairman of broadcaster ITV ITV.BK, and Paul Keating, former prime minister of Australia.

    While in government, Mandelson warned Kraft not to seek a "fast buck" when buying Cadbury, and said overseas headquarters could prove a long-term "disadvantage" to UK manufacturing.

    Must have been quite a few pieces of silver on the table!

  • Comment number 42.

    1. At 5:26pm on 22 Jan 2011, Lynn wrote:

    I suggest to reform our social benefits including banking. Poor people should be offered to borrow money for lower interest rates, and savings in higher rates.

    _______________________________________________________

    Or we could force the banks to pay back a percentage of the high interest they had forced from the working-class. Legalised robbery is what it is.

  • Comment number 43.

    35. At 6:38pm on 22 Jan 2011, CarlRigby wrote:
    I'm not sure I really care how the banks are structured as long as I, and other taxpayers, manage to sell our shares for a profit at some point. After that, I don't care how they're structured as long as they don't want me to save them again if they make unwise decisions.

    As an aside; I find it a little bizarre that people are so vehemently anti-bank. Perhaps I'm the only one who remembers the wall-to-wall property porn on the telly and in print only a few years ago. Grand Designs, Location Location Location, Property Ladder, a Place in the Sun, New Life in the Country and so on. And those were the good ones. We could all be rich flipping properties or releasing equity to buy flash cars or go on flash holidays. Companies sold courses on how to build property empires. And people lapped it up. Easy money. The banks were pushing at an open door when it came to selling mortgages. And the public have to accept some responsibility for that. At least as much responsibility as the banks. Perhaps when people criticize the banks they're just trying to evade their own role in the situation because they're ashamed of their greed and naïvety. Just a thought.
    ==================
    And a foolish thought it is.

    So as long as CarlRigby makes some cash it doesnt matter a jot that the economy has been wrecked and many people have been driven into unemployment and poverty.

    As for lending - years back financial institutions would check the credit worthiness of borrowers - to ensure that loans could be repaid. Stupid people will always try and borrow beyond their means. Bankers relaxed the lending rules to obtain quick commission/profits.

    Of course the banks need to be split. The risk takers can enjoy their profits if they succeed, but must take the full losses if they take reckless risks. Have we 100% agreement on this?

  • Comment number 44.

    41. At 7:04pm on 22 Jan 2011, W Fletcher wrote:
    Strange how His Majestyship Mandyboy has got his feet under the desk at Lazard ...LONDON, Jan 21 (Reuters) - Former British government minister Peter Mandelson has become a senior adviser to Lazard (LAZ.N), the bank that masterminded Kraft Foods' (KFT.N) 11.6 billion pound ($18.4 billion) takeover of Cadbury a year ago.

    Mandelson, secretary of state for business under the UK's previous Labour government, joins a network of advisers that includes Archie Norman, the chairman of broadcaster ITV ITV.BK, and Paul Keating, former prime minister of Australia.

    While in government, Mandelson warned Kraft not to seek a "fast buck" when buying Cadbury, and said overseas headquarters could prove a long-term "disadvantage" to UK manufacturing.

    Must have been quite a few pieces of silver on the table!
    ========================
    Even rarer than agreeing with a Magi Tatcher comment - agreeing with a W Fletcher - what's the world coming to?

  • Comment number 45.

    "But would reform ensure proper competition and choice for consumers?"

    Banks, proper competition, choice? Ha ha ha ha! The only difference between The High Chaperal and a high street bank is the suits.

  • Comment number 46.

    29. At 6:26pm on 22 Jan 2011, MrWonderfulReality wrote:

    I think it is time that government re-tracted support and STOPPED guaranteeing the banks and the money they currently gamble with.

    It is outrageous that even now, the money bank investors gamble with is backed by British taxpayers.

    Hence ALL these bonuses are as a DIRECT result of UK taxpayers being guarantors, yet we3 do NOT receive ANY bonus.

    If this backing money was attained on the open market, then banks would NOT be making such bonuses, if at all. The fact they ARE making bonuses is because UK taxpayers are providing a guarantor service FREE OF CHARGE.

    Also, it does NOT matter if banks are broken up or not, what matters is the ratio of funds that they have to pay out. Currently it is around 10%/11%. Hence 90% of customers who have money deposited in banks have NO CHANCE of getting their money back.

    It is FACTUALLY WORSE NOW than 2 years ago.

    The FACT of the matter is, is that even though UK government is guaranteeing the banks, the government do NOT HAVE the funds either, OR access to such funds.

    We are FACTUALLY surviving on a FIXED bubble of "confidence".

    What does this mean??

    It does NOT mean that if bank account holders all wanted their money that they could have it, because they CANNOT, its NOT THERE, IT DOES NOT EXIST.

    All I can see happening is moving the bubble around, chopping it up a bit, but FACTUALLY it will STILL EXIST, just in different sized packages.

    The PLAIN FACT OF THE MATTER IS THAT SPLITTING BANKS UP WILL NOT MAKE ANT DIFFERENCE.

    ALL THE BANKS ARE TIED UP TOGETHER, FACT.

    Just think for a second, ASK YOURSELF, what happened in banking collapse.

    Just ONE BANK got into serious trouble and this bank OWED MONEY TO ALL THE OTHERS.

    The SAME APPLYS NOW.

    If banks were split up, they would ALL STILL be borrowing from one another, and if ONE goes down, it TAKES OTHERS WITH IT, FACT.

    Pretending that investment banks can be seperated from high street banks and such a split would ultimately protect taxpayers is just BLATANT DECEIT.

    Because they are presently so tied up & twisted together in vastly complicated loans & derivatives etc it is IMPOSSIBLE to UN-TWIST these complications.

    Dont forget that loans etc are contracted YEARS into the future.

    The present situation is this-

    If banks get into further trouble in the next TWENTY to THIRTY + YEARS, we are DOOMED.
    Thats a LONG LONG TIME for NO FURTHER SERIOUS PROBLEMS TO MATERIALISE.

    I personally have MINIMUM funds in banks, because for one FACT, they do NOT have the funds to pay out ALL the money that is deposited with them and UK government ALSO does NOT have the money, or access to it to cover the excess that banks CANNOT provide.

    My money is working for me in physical/material goods. If anything goes wrong, I may not have loads of cash but I have LOADS of goods which can be bartered with/sold.

    After all, money is JUST PAPER.

    Whats of REAL VALUE, a SHEEP, or a bit of paper that FACTUALLY CANNOT BE GUARANTEED ITS WORTH/VALUE.

    -----------------------------------------------------------------

    Was it really necessary to shout every other word? You may think that money is simply paper but if you are investing your money in sheep you may face problems should we have another foot and mouth crisis! The more sensible amongst us realise that spreading money across different financial services is a far safer way than purchasing livestock

  • Comment number 47.

    Of course the banks need reforming; they've got too big for their boots and are still in denial about the financial abyss they plunged us into not that long ago. Customers needs more competition, choice and better service, and if breaking up the big players does that then it cannot happen soon enough.

    Naturaly, industry insiders don't want this to happen and moan that it means that banks will go abroad and that the financial "talent" will follow. Let it happen. Most of our country's financial knowledge and service is already abroad - just think about the last time you called your bank's call centre number.

    Any smart entreprenuer will be seeing the huge opportunity here. Punters are wanting a return of local banking, less risk, better customer service and a return of sensible lending and savings packages. The global banking service has not delivered that - so let's have a change.

  • Comment number 48.

    Should high street banks be broken up?
    The head of the commission reviewing whether the UK's biggest banks should be broken up has said wide-ranging reform is needed. But would reform ensure proper competition and choice for consumers?

    37. At 6:45pm on 22 Jan 2011, toycollector wrote:

    Should high street banks be broken up?
    Sadly a vast majority of MPs are closely linked to the Banking system and have been for Hundreds of Years, so their will be very little change unless the Banks want it.
    If they don't want change they have nothing to fear.
    We, the British Tax payer will be on hand to bail them out, yet again.
    For British Tax payer see... Absolute mugs!!

    I couldn't agree more with both your comment and the 'bailing-out' view
    ___________________________________________________________________

    The fact that many long standing MP's and Lords have big roles in the banking industry does make any type of proposed banking regulation or debate on braking banks up rather difficult to do.

    Hindsight is always a wonderful thing. When banks were banks and building societies were building societies and not banks - or allied to banks, then it seemed that most financial services that you got from building societies was good financial service.
    As soon as building societies became banks - or indeed were taken over by banks - that is when the rot set in - bad financial advice being given, bad pension advice being given, savings losing interest, the whole thing went sour, profits were everything, investors didn't matter an iota - unless you are a millionair of course, then straight away doors open to tax free havens on your interest.

    So, having said that, how on earth do you take the building society back from the greedy banks - indeed if you can.
    However the biggest problem of all is the 'Untouchables', 'The all powerfull Elite Society of Gentleman' that effectively run this country who are above poitics and also seemingly above the law too, the politicians are just 'the faces', no matter what party, their the 'greedy fall guys'.
    It is this very small percentage of 'Untouchables' that hold all the wealth of this Nation, some are MP's, some are Lords, but all of them are all powerfull, They care only for their wealth, no loyalties whatsoever when it comes to politicians or even the countries direction, just as long as they don't lose a halfpenny!
    So this debate on braking up of the banks I think could be very interesting.

    The problem is you can't turn the clock back, so even if approved the plan to break the banks up, have building societies again, is fraut with all sorts of legal and financial time-bombs, and in the end will it be better for the ordinary Man in the street? that is a question I'm simply not qualified to answer - I sincerely hope so.

    It is after all the banks that got this country into the financial mess it is in now - not the public at large - who are now footing the bill.
    The banks got very greedy, and as we know 'Greed blinds all to everything other than the greed itself'

    The big problem here will be 'who foots the bill for doing this?' Yes, I know, it is a stupid question really isn't it.

  • Comment number 49.

    YES : Split the Banks into Retail and Investment
    "High Street" will be safe and reliable. ALL levels of personnel will receive salary, pension etc as in other commercial firms. That means NO BONUSES.
    Investment activity will also trade as a commercial firm. Do well = pay bonus to your heart's content. However, Screw Up = collect your UB40 and don't expect me to cry crocodile tears or shell out from my pension.

  • Comment number 50.

    32. At 6:34pm on 22 Jan 2011, Magi Tatcher wrote:
    27. At 6:17pm on 22 Jan 2011, paulmerhaba wrote:

    Independent Commission?
    One member was a Co-CEO at JP Morgan Investment bank.
    Another an International Advisor to Goldman Sachs

    Who do you suggest should be on a commission about banking?

    ----------------------------------------------------------------------

    You?

  • Comment number 51.

    Yes - they should have competition from a bank that offers a smaller spread between loan and deposit interest rates. Having bought Lloyds-TSB, the 'hands-off approach to managing it is ludicrous. Bring back the Giro bank!

    The nature of bank capital must be monitored as well as the amount. It was overvalued capital that caused the problem. The thought that my pension fund only exists in reality as a fraction of its nominal value is very uncomfortable - especially when the missing bit is the sharp practice the banks pay such high salaries and bonuses for! But that is how the banking system works.

    If too many of us say "I'm out" it's lights out for all of us. Feels like a sort of blackmail to me.

  • Comment number 52.

    Should high street banks be broken up?

    YEP

  • Comment number 53.

    I feel there is a need to separate,or in some way ring fence retail banking from the more speculative side of banking. If one increases the amounts banks are required to hold in reserve I'm sure we will start to see cleaver ways around this. Plus having reserves didnt stop Lehmans going under when confindence evaporated. People need confidence in the banking system even if we have to accept some realities; it may be harder for people and organisations to get loans, ecconomic growth may be marginally down, and yes we may have to pick up some extra costs for retail banking, but thats as nothing to the costs of bailing out future banking failures.
    Having just listened to an interview with Angela Knight I am totally convinced of the need for decisive action to address the banking issue as it seems that the banking industry just want to continue as they have been doing.

  • Comment number 54.

    To me its not about competition at this time its we have to remove the possibility of any bank failure taking down the country which is the position we are in.

    The amount of money that has been printed and pledged to save these so called experts while hammering the people at the bottom is astronomic.People are struggling to feed and heat themselves because of these financial terrorists but they dont give a damn and they are totally blind to the harm they have caused, while telling us how they are worth their insane salaries.Well lets make them show how clever they are.

    Remove the tax payers guarantee and let them bleat their hearts out it will be awful for a short time but we will quickly turn it around, drip feeding money into their balance sheets is going to help no one and cause massive hardship for the people at the bottom of the pile.

    We are unlikely to get the measures required as all the major parties are substantially bankrolled by the affected banks.This is another link that needs to be broken....

  • Comment number 55.

    YES ... it's a 'no brainer' to anyone other than an executive banker or a related 'spivving' or other vested interest.
    The problem is that most of the UK establishment and political class have an 'interest' with an executive banker or a related 'spivving' or other vested interest.
    I think that it's called ... 'conflicts of interest'? Perhaps we can ask all of the establishment and politicians to publicly declare, any of their 'conflicts of interest' ?

  • Comment number 56.

    All the useless banks should be allowed to fail, and all the greedy bankers should be in jail, But the elite who control this country wont' allow them to be broken up? {What a joke} or lose any of they power as they control the money= debt that keeps all us as wage slaves' Kept in line by outragous intrest payments. The greedy bankers' are the true masters of the U.K. The goverment Con/Fibs have not got the power??? to do anything against them The £ is now worthless, all they do is make more on a computor= Government bonds on pretty paper = £ 20 billion more on they computor. All bankers will know and understand. Read modern money mechanics,for all the details

  • Comment number 57.

    As one poster said we don't need a knee jerk reaction.

    Yes proper regulation and prudent risk policies are required to safegaurd mainstream banking. Including good character (track record), Loan To Value Ratio requirements and sound ability to repay (income multipliers)which should all stack up. Insurance(security/assets0 to underpin are required but should not be the sole reason for lending - no pawnbroking.

    The difficulty is how far you can disentangle the "investment" business from the high street bank. A bit like where do oil companies and the retailers really make the profit on oil. At the end of the day these riskier arms will still need capital, at a cost, from somewhere so there will always be some risk.

    The only way to remove the risk is to make them stop doing it.

    The other impact will be lower tax revenues as less "profit" will be made and I wonder who will make up the shortfall?

    At the end of the day we are now in a global market so without worldwide agreement the risk and "profit" will be taken elsewhere

  • Comment number 58.

    sixpackerL wrote :

    And a foolish thought it is.

    So as long as CarlRigby makes some cash it doesnt matter a jot that the economy has been wrecked and many people have been driven into unemployment and poverty.

    ---------------
    You need to brush up on your comprehension.

    I own shares in some banks as a taxpayer because of the government bailout. Just like you and everyone else. I'd like to get the money back and doing anything that reduces the likelihood of that is foolish. And the rest of my comment stands. Greed infected the public as much as the banks.

  • Comment number 59.

    I think most level headed people would agree with splitting up the casino banking from the retail arm of the business. The retail side is essential for commerce in this country and needs to be protected from irresponsible risk taking. If the casino side goes belly up then it`s one of two options, let it fail or have investors in that arm of the business take the hit. If banks want to uproot to another country let them and i`m sure one or two of them would, but i can guarantee they would be the losers in the long term and secretly i think they know it.

  • Comment number 60.

    All this user's posts have been removed.Why?

  • Comment number 61.

    High Street and investment banks have very little in common, the only reason they are currently linked is because one grew out of the other. Since to all intents and purposes most of them have been nationalised, it is the perfect time to restructure. The advantage of restructuring is that currently if a bank fails then it takes the high street depositors money with it which triggers government backed guarantees which means tax payers money is used to protect their own and other tax payers money, any removal of the guarentees would cause a run on the banks which would cause them to fail. There is no way round this, as things stand, because a bank account is essential in the modern world and as long as high street banks are linked to investment banks then it's impossible to stop them using high street deposits to back high risk investments despite the fact that the vast majority of people do not want their ordainary bank deposits used for high risk investments.
    Seperating the two means high street banks can be restricted as the level of risk they take with depositors money so they should never fail but if they do then the payouts required shouldn't be large enough to damage the economy and the investment banks can take the big risks necessary to earn big money with the proviso that if they fail they won't be bailed out and their failure will only cause losses for those who deliberately chose to invest in their high risk deals.
    It should be possible for a number of these new investment banks to fail at the same time without significant damage to the economy therby preserving the capitalist system.

  • Comment number 62.

    50. At 7:38pm on 22 Jan 2011, paulmerhaba wrote:

    32. At 6:34pm on 22 Jan 2011, Magi Tatcher wrote:
    27. At 6:17pm on 22 Jan 2011, paulmerhaba wrote:

    Independent Commission?
    One member was a Co-CEO at JP Morgan Investment bank.
    Another an International Advisor to Goldman Sachs

    Who do you suggest should be on a commission about banking?

    ----------------------------------------------------------------------

    You?


    No, better to have someone who has worked in the industry than a layman who knows nothing.

  • Comment number 63.

    No, and they won't be!

    Given the frailty of the British economy and our reliance on this sector, the government is unlikely to start meddling.

  • Comment number 64.

    Whether the banks should be broken up is the question for them to answer, not governments.

    No one here or anywhere needs to use a multinational bank. There are still a few mutuals about and other ways of being paid, having an account etc.

    If people hate the banks/bankers, DON'T USE THEM!

    But I'll say this: if our big high street banks are broken up so yer Mr Average has access only to deposit and current accounts (retail, as they call it), you'll pay for it. I see bank charges looming on the horizon.

    If HSBC and Barclays are forced to leave the UK, there're 25,000 jobs down the tubes not to mention the loss of revenue. Can you blame them?

    All these political and commission twits need do is install some decent regulation including a 10% minimum capital requirement. We used to have it, we dropped it so the government could get a bigger tax take on the profits that slack regulation allowed.

  • Comment number 65.

    It can't be right that banks and bankers take all the upside but the taxpayer takes the downside. This is a recipe for high risk banking.

    If we can't afford for the retail banks to go bust then the retail banks must be split up from the investment banks.

  • Comment number 66.

    Need to be careful about the use of the term "breaking up". I do not think the right way to go is the extreme version of splitting/refloating them as separate groups. The banks would rightly argue that could make them uncompetitive since they cannot spread costs.

    The right option is to ringfence the retail operations in separate subsidiaries which are prohibited from financing the wholesale subs unless with capital or liquidity excess to the retail side's requirements.

    The life assurance subs within UK insurance groups have been ringfenced in this way for decades.

  • Comment number 67.

    59. At 8:07pm on 22 Jan 2011, corncobuk wrote:
    ...........If banks want to uproot to another country let them and i`m sure one or two of them would, but i can guarantee they would be the losers in the long term and secretly i think they know it.


    Think about this for a minute: lost revenue, lost jobs (at least 25,000), bank charges. The few wise have realised the detriment brought to London as a financial centre. It isn't just these banks leaving, it's discouraging foreign banks from setting up here.

    Remember that until we build up a manufacturing industry, the UK economy rests on the service industries particularly finance, and people selling houses to each other.

  • Comment number 68.

    2. At 5:28pm on 22 Jan 2011, Trench Broom wrote:
    It's no surprise to see the level of hatred being levelled at the Banks, given that the televised media is controlled by the left wing who hate our free market system.

    Rather than worry about the banks, I'm more worried about the left getting back into power and bankrupting us again in the future just as Labour have done time and time again.

    I'm also much more worried about Peter Sissons saying that left wing bias is part of the BBC's DNA. This goes some way to explain the BBC's fascination/obsession with banks and supermarkets for example - as well as other well known BBC biases
    ---------------------------------


    Repetition of the latest Daily Mail propaganda. The right have flogged the line that the Labour party was responsible for the world financial crisis. Now they are going for the BBC
    The Tories are quite happy to have the Murdoch / Sky and Fox version of news but get some balance and it is immediately perceived as left wing. Why should the views of Peter Sissons be necessarily correct. Not many Tories complain about the political views of Nick Robinson.
    Whichever party is in power they will naturally be open to critism, goodness knows Brown got enough of it. If the Tory party are in power then they will be critised, it's their turn now. They don't like it and can't take it, they call foul as soon as things don't go their way
    Get ready for a lot more critism of the BBC it's the latest Tory obsession, they monopolise the press and think that the broadcasting channels should be the same

  • Comment number 69.

    35. At 6:38pm on 22 Jan 2011, CarlRigby wrote:

    I'm not sure I really care how the banks are structured as long as I, and other taxpayers, manage to sell our shares for a profit at some point. After that, I don't care how they're structured as long as they don't want me to save them again if they make unwise decisions.

    As an aside; I find it a little bizarre that people are so vehemently anti-bank. Perhaps I'm the only one who remembers the wall-to-wall property porn on the telly and in print only a few years ago. Grand Designs, Location Location Location, Property Ladder, a Place in the Sun, New Life in the Country and so on. And those were the good ones. We could all be rich flipping properties or releasing equity to buy flash cars or go on flash holidays. Companies sold courses on how to build property empires. And people lapped it up. Easy money. The banks were pushing at an open door when it came to selling mortgages. And the public have to accept some responsibility for that. At least as much responsibility as the banks. Perhaps when people criticize the banks they're just trying to evade their own role in the situation because they're ashamed of their greed and naïvety. Just a thought.


    Not all of us indulged in though, I didn't borrow any money despite being constantly offered ridiculous loans, I even railed against it saying mortgages of over 100% were absolute madness and that people should only buy the cars they could afford and if they wanted stuff should save up to buy it, as I do, not take out a loan. Yet when they went bust I still had to do the same share of bailing out as everyone else and now I see them paying out huge bonuses rather than paying back the money that was borrowed while my income drops. In fact, interest rates dropping benefits those who joined in the borrowing madness and hits the savers who didn't.

  • Comment number 70.

    29. At 6:26pm on 22 Jan 2011, MrWonderfulReality wrote:
    "It is outrageous that even now, the money bank investors gamble with is backed by British taxpayers.

    Hence ALL these bonuses are as a DIRECT result of UK taxpayers being guarantors, yet we3 do NOT receive ANY bonus."

    And yet, it was not the fault of/the idea of those banks that were not bailed out, is it? So why should they be held responsible for what the government did since they had no say in it?

    Why shouldn't, for example, HSBC or Barclays tell the government to go jump? They haven't had to be bailed out for a penny, and that is something you have to admit, no matter how much you dislike banks.

  • Comment number 71.

    I'd answer with a resounding "YES."
    But then I'm a former banker that was made redundant because of the injudicious lending of another arm of my employers. This meant they could no longer borrower money at a reasonable rate, so their mortgage arm had to contract significantly. Hence around 500 redundancies.
    We were known for our conservative lending practices and arrears rates of around half the national average, so it wasn't us responsible either for our own downfall, or that of the British Economy. I say this in the hope that all bankers might not be tarred with the same brush.
    High Street Banking and Mortgage Lending (carefully monitored) would be reasonable bedfellows. It is the speculative aspects that need to be separated.

  • Comment number 72.


    No organisation, business or any key item should be so big as failure would threaten the economy or other important infrastructure.

    Of course the banks should be broken up as should any other that is too large.

    There should also be limits on maximum market or service share for businesses, 5% to 10% looks like a safe number.

    There should be exceptions where an overall service needs by it's nature to have a large or total share, for example Royal Mail's original universal service to all.

  • Comment number 73.

    The banks should be broken up and the tax payer reimbursed. Following this, the bankers and city traders responsible should be put on trial for treason. The 'Capitalist mugging' of the general PAYE public should never be allowed to happen again. Those responsible should have their assets sequestrated and this could be used to pay off the national debt. Tax avoidance by the rich should be dealt with as a criminal offence. As for 'city talent' leaving for other shores, best go now before the public disgust for you turns really nasty.

  • Comment number 74.

    70. At 8:34pm on 22 Jan 2011, entreri100404 wrote:

    29. At 6:26pm on 22 Jan 2011, MrWonderfulReality wrote:
    "It is outrageous that even now, the money bank investors gamble with is backed by British taxpayers.

    Hence ALL these bonuses are as a DIRECT result of UK taxpayers being guarantors, yet we3 do NOT receive ANY bonus."

    And yet, it was not the fault of/the idea of those banks that were not bailed out, is it? So why should they be held responsible for what the government did since they had no say in it?

    Why shouldn't, for example, HSBC or Barclays tell the government to go jump? They haven't had to be bailed out for a penny, and that is something you have to admit, no matter how much you dislike banks.


    And Lloyds TSB only received taxpayers money because the Labour government persuaded them to take over HBOS at the height of the crisis.

  • Comment number 75.

    We must stop talking about 'the banks' as if they are all the same. We need to start about the operation and regulation of banks in relation to the RISKS they choose to take.

    The Irish banks chose to risk a vast proportion of their assets on a continuing boom in the Irish property market. They lost that bet.

    Northern Rock put all its eggs into short-term borrowing and long-term lending on the assumption that property values could never drop below the value of 100%+ mortgages. It lost that bet.

    HBoS similarlylost a bet on putting a large share of funds into speculative property devekopemnts.

    Previously more 'boring' banks, such as HSBC and Standard Chartered declined to risk a lot of their funds into the above markets and tended to spread their risks over a wider range of sectors and countries. They were right to do so.

    My conclusion: the future format of lending regulation needs to be based around the managment of risks. Any institution that takes one-way bets on a single market - as did Northern Rock or Bradford & Bingley - needs to be highly regulated whereas any financial institution that spreads its risks should be allowed to get on with its job with minimal interference. And if banks want to gamble speculatively with their funds then by all means split off the gambling units into separate institutions and make sure that the first to cry for help is let fail.

    If we try and punish the good banks because of the failings of the bad banks, then good banks will abandon London and Britain will be left with just the weak financial institutions that cant manage their risks.

  • Comment number 76.

    When I went to a mutual building society to change my mortgage I was asked how much level of risk I was willing to take with investments.
    My financial package was tailored to my ability to repay and the level of risk. On that occasion I moved away from endowment mortgages in disgust at the way they had both been sold and performed.
    These choices were never clearly explained to me properly in any High St Bank.

    The point if this analogy is that the report seems to have come up with an ideal opportunity to separate the needs of the ordinary person form those who are willing and/or able to take risks with their investments.

    Separating the Investment Arm from the day to day business customer will allow the market to balance itself.

    It will mean low risk for ordinary members of the public and may lead to shareholders in the Investment arms of banks to take full control of the bonus culture and only reward those who have earned rewards for the shareholder.

  • Comment number 77.

    64. At 8:19pm on 22 Jan 2011, doctor bob wrote:

    Whether the banks should be broken up is the question for them to answer, not governments.

    No one here or anywhere needs to use a multinational bank. There are still a few mutuals about and other ways of being paid, having an account etc.

    If people hate the banks/bankers, DON'T USE THEM!

    But I'll say this: if our big high street banks are broken up so yer Mr Average has access only to deposit and current accounts (retail, as they call it), you'll pay for it. I see bank charges looming on the horizon.

    If HSBC and Barclays are forced to leave the UK, there're 25,000 jobs down the tubes not to mention the loss of revenue. Can you blame them?

    All these political and commission twits need do is install some decent regulation including a 10% minimum capital requirement. We used to have it, we dropped it so the government could get a bigger tax take on the profits that slack regulation allowed.


    Have you tried not using a bank, it's not as easy as you think and not just the big multinationals were involved in dodgy lending but if a significant proportion of people took your advice there would be probably another, slightly different, banking crisis.
    Free banking is on the way out anyhow, its been put off a bit because they're too scared to do it now but it'll be back on the agenda soon.
    Increasing regulation and forcing them to maintain huge reserves is more likely to cause them to go elsewhere than telling them to seperate retail which they despise anyhow. especially if all they have to do is turn them into nominally seperate businesses with seperate liability. Then the less profitable retail part gets increased regulation and the more profitable investment part gets more or less left alone which is what they want.

  • Comment number 78.

    Yes, into little bits.

  • Comment number 79.

    It would be quite sensible to split the banks into world trading & home banking sections. If the trading banks go bust so be it, but the traders would be entitled to their bonuses if they are successful. The home banking could concentrate on a service for everyday national banking involving savings, mortgages, current accounts loans etc.

  • Comment number 80.

    doctor bob wrote:
    No one here or anywhere needs to use a multinational bank. There are still a few mutuals about and other ways of being paid, having an account etc.

    If people hate the banks/bankers, DON'T USE THEM

    A bit difficult when even Child Benefit, retirement pension, ESA, JSA, Child and Working tax credits have to be paid through a bank.

    95% of benefit claimants are paid via a bank. Makes you wonder how the right wingers on HYS always see benefit scroungers queuing in the post office and buying their lottery tickets doesn't it.

  • Comment number 81.

    67. At 8:26pm on 22 Jan 2011, doctor bob wrote:

    59. At 8:07pm on 22 Jan 2011, corncobuk wrote:
    ...........If banks want to uproot to another country let them and i`m sure one or two of them would, but i can guarantee they would be the losers in the long term and secretly i think they know it.


    Think about this for a minute: lost revenue, lost jobs (at least 25,000), bank charges. The few wise have realised the detriment brought to London as a financial centre. It isn't just these banks leaving, it's discouraging foreign banks from setting up here.

    Remember that until we build up a manufacturing industry, the UK economy rests on the service industries particularly finance, and people selling houses to each other.

    -----------------------------------------

    Initially there will be jobs lost but the retail and morgage arms would remain unaffected. It`s the investment and derivatives arms that would be allowed to fail and going back awhile they were seperate entities, but by the teaming up of investment banks with retail banks they could risk depositors money and this is the major problem. Only Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley remain as the pure investment banks. I agree that the manufacturing industry in this country needs major investment but the longer we allow banks to have access to depositors money to invest in this way the longer the risk of another bailout. All people are saying that the risk taking part of the business should be allowed to fail without depositors and taxpayers being dragged down with them. We cannot be in a situation whereby investment banks continue to act irresponsibly all the while knowing that the tax payer will come to the rescue. This will destroy this country quicker than any bank failing as we have just witnessed.

  • Comment number 82.

    74. At 8:41pm on 22 Jan 2011, Magi Tatcher wrote:

    And Lloyds TSB only received taxpayers money because the Labour government persuaded them to take over HBOS at the height of the crisis.


    It's true that Lloyds TSB might have been able to do a Barclays and shore itself up with private money if it hadn't been encouraged to take over Hbos but all banks have been effectively subsidised by quantative easing so even if they haven't been taking our money directly they've still been taking it indirectly.

  • Comment number 83.

    Do you think the bankers would understand if they were told "We didn't lend you all that money just so that you could pay yourself a generous salary."

    I know that I for one do not understand why I and we are expected to make good the money lent to the banks. Surely they should be returning it to us.

    And I cannot see the urgency about repaying the national debt - since it is owed to us taxpayers anyway. Are we threatening to call in the bailiffs on ourselves?

    We are victims of the conventional authoritative doublethink illogicality.

  • Comment number 84.

    Rather than worry about the banks, I'm more worried about the left getting back into power and bankrupting us again in the future just as Labour have done time and time again.

    I'm also much more worried about Peter Sissons saying that left wing bias is part of the BBC's DNA. This goes some way to explain the BBC's fascination/obsession with banks and supermarkets for example - as well as other well known BBC biases.

    ,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

    When people have nothing to eat, it will be you and yours they will dine on, you can call the police what will be left of them, and if the criminals do get caught even once they kill you, you can not punish them equally, plus your family can pay taxes to the criminals family via benefits, Or.................. you might like to change your tune and consider a more fair and even handed luxury yet unknown in this country, called society. Because one way or the other you will pay.

  • Comment number 85.

    It would make economic sense to break them up, but it's a virtually impossible task to deal with the existing portfolio of trades on their books. IF it happens it will take 10-20 years in my opinion.

    Steven Quas Collins

  • Comment number 86.

    I can't quite see it yet but there has to be some sort of ulterior motive here. If this Government wants to break up the banks you can guarantee that, somewhere along the line, customers with small accounts are going to get screwed. Higher charges on overdrafts? Overdrafts being denied or withdrawn? Who knows. But you can bet your bottom dollar the poorest will come off badly and the wealthy, including the top bankers themselves, will be even better off than they are now.
    I'm sorry but I find this lot the most untrustworthy (very possibly evil) Government this country has had since before the last World War.

  • Comment number 87.

    26. At 6:15pm on 22 Jan 2011, Magi Tatcher wrote:

    23. At 6:11pm on 22 Jan 2011, RichardGrey wrote:

    Thatcher deregulated banks leading to this chaos - If banks were properly regulated breaking them up would not be necessary.

    But as we have Thatcher's child - then YES OF COURSE!!

    I wonder who the first poster would be to blame Margaret Thatcher. You never disappoint.

    Well we still hold Adolf Hitler responsible for crimes against humanity so why Not Thatcher? Ironically in a capitalist way or maybe not, I have a very nice bottle of champagne I brought over 25 years ago waiting for her Demise.

  • Comment number 88.

    23. At 6:11pm on 22 Jan 2011, RichardGrey wrote:

    Thatcher deregulated banks leading to this chaos - If banks were properly regulated breaking them up would not be necessary.

    But as we have Thatcher's child - then YES OF COURSE!!
    ===================================

    ..and what pray stopped the blairing error and gormless gordon from re-regulating them? Nothing, they chose to let the banks screw everyone but themselves and then paid them with our grand-children's money to do it to us.

    When I take out a loan, there is an fixed term and a fixed payment schedule and heaven help me if I screw up.

    When the banks were given their loans, there was no fixed term and no fixed repayment schedule and bonuses are still guaranteed.

    How is this fair and why did NuLabour allow it to happen?

    Whatever MT did, NuLabour had plenty of time to reverse it.

  • Comment number 89.

    Talk about the bleeding obvious. Ordainary savers want their money safe in a traditional banking system. Let those who choose to gamble in the high risk investments use their OWN money

  • Comment number 90.

    70. At 8:34pm on 22 Jan 2011, entreri100404 wrote:
    29. At 6:26pm on 22 Jan 2011, MrWonderfulReality wrote:
    "It is outrageous that even now, the money bank investors gamble with is backed by British taxpayers.

    Hence ALL these bonuses are as a DIRECT result of UK taxpayers being guarantors, yet we3 do NOT receive ANY bonus."

    And yet, it was not the fault of/the idea of those banks that were not bailed out, is it? So why should they be held responsible for what the government did since they had no say in it?

    Why shouldn't, for example, HSBC or Barclays tell the government to go jump? They haven't had to be bailed out for a penny, and that is something you have to admit, no matter how much you dislike banks.


    = = = = = = = = = =
    Nor did we taxpayers/voters have a say. So much for "Democracy" in the UK. We were told there was no alternative; bail-out was the only solution. But it wasn't. We could have let the banks fail as in Iceland where the people decided. They wanted nothing to do with bailing the banks out.
    Lo and behold, they are now coming out of recession.

    Furthermore the gov should be condemned for facilitating Lloyd's take over of HBOS (to the extent of subverting the competition commission process). Brown/darling hoped by pushing Lloyds into this, without giving a chance to do due diligence, that Lloyds, not the taxpayer would pay for that caprice. Disgusting.


  • Comment number 91.

    I wouldn't break up banks. I would bypass them altogether. The government could print its own interest free money and there'd be plenty of money in circulation so we don't have these never ending boom and bust cycles. We don't need private banks just a printing press.

  • Comment number 92.

    82. At 9:03pm on 22 Jan 2011, Freda Peeple wrote:

    74. At 8:41pm on 22 Jan 2011, Magi Tatcher wrote:

    And Lloyds TSB only received taxpayers money because the Labour government persuaded them to take over HBOS at the height of the crisis.

    It's true that Lloyds TSB might have been able to do a Barclays and shore itself up with private money if it hadn't been encouraged to take over Hbos but all banks have been effectively subsidised by quantative easing so even if they haven't been taking our money directly they've still been taking it indirectly.


    Money that the taxpayer will get back once the assets held by UKFI and the BoE are eventually sold off.

  • Comment number 93.

    You are joking?
    They have brought the entire country to its knees.
    I would love to break the up.
    Not sure my way is legal though.

  • Comment number 94.

    Maybe.
    But I wouldn't be rushing into anything just yet.
    Pragmatic soul that I am, I'd be hanging fire a bit to see what the US and Europeans are doing, mindful of the following :
    1. As a taxpayer I own a chunk of RBS and Lloyds and I want my money back. I want to know the financial effect to me the taxpayer of splitting these two into retail and investment if it diminishes the worth of RBS or Lloyds.
    2. I want the reaction gauged of those that did not take the UK govt shilling; Barclays but especially also HSBC and Standard Chartered. These last two do most of their business outside the UK; HSBC's chief exec is already based in Hong Kong. It's c.£5bn in lost tax down the swanee if they both decamp. As a taxpayer I want to at least know what I might be on the hook for.
    3. I want to know how this might impact on the rest of UK financial services - lawyers, accountants, IT services, insurance, fund management, brokerage, etc etc etc - seeing as the banks plus this lot contributed c.£50bn to £60bn in UK taxes last year.
    4. If, just if, a sizeable chunk of this £50bn-odd tax shows signs of departing with nothing to replace it, the bond market reaction will make Greece/Ireland look like a picnic; what contingency plans does the govt have for the resulting financial crisis?

  • Comment number 95.

    87. At 9:19pm on 22 Jan 2011, kingofsuffolk wrote:

    26. At 6:15pm on 22 Jan 2011, Magi Tatcher wrote:

    23. At 6:11pm on 22 Jan 2011, RichardGrey wrote:

    Thatcher deregulated banks leading to this chaos - If banks were properly regulated breaking them up would not be necessary.

    But as we have Thatcher's child - then YES OF COURSE!!

    I wonder who the first poster would be to blame Margaret Thatcher. You never disappoint.

    Well we still hold Adolf Hitler responsible for crimes against humanity so why Not Thatcher? Ironically in a capitalist way or maybe not, I have a very nice bottle of champagne I brought over 25 years ago waiting for her Demise.


    Sad.

  • Comment number 96.

    Why not admit that most of us don't really know what to do about the banks? The banking/financial industries are so complicated and dependent on the thing called "confidence" that nobody can ever be sure of the consequences of any particular action. So political action to curtail the gambling element will itself be a game of chance. I'm not suggesting that nothing should be done, but let's be honest - it'll be a gamble.

  • Comment number 97.

    Hang on, weren't Lloyds TSB persuaded by Nu Labour to take on the broken HBOS, you remember that was one of two Scottish banks in trouble? As a result its shares plumetted.

    What's going on?

  • Comment number 98.

    Magi Tatcher wrote:
    87. At 9:19pm on 22 Jan 2011, kingofsuffolk wrote:

    26. At 6:15pm on 22 Jan 2011, Magi Tatcher wrote:

    23. At 6:11pm on 22 Jan 2011, RichardGrey wrote:

    Thatcher deregulated banks leading to this chaos - If banks were properly regulated breaking them up would not be necessary.

    But as we have Thatcher's child - then YES OF COURSE!!

    I wonder who the first poster would be to blame Margaret Thatcher. You never disappoint.

    Well we still hold Adolf Hitler responsible for crimes against humanity so why Not Thatcher? Ironically in a capitalist way or maybe not, I have a very nice bottle of champagne I brought over 25 years ago waiting for her Demise.

    kingofsuffolk wrote:
    26. At 6:15pm on 22 Jan 2011, Magi Tatcher wrote:

    23. At 6:11pm on 22 Jan 2011, RichardGrey wrote:

    Thatcher deregulated banks leading to this chaos - If banks were properly regulated breaking them up would not be necessary.

    But as we have Thatcher's child - then YES OF COURSE!!

    I wonder who the first poster would be to blame Margaret Thatcher. You never disappoint.

    Well we still hold Adolf Hitler responsible for crimes against humanity so why Not Thatcher? Ironically in a capitalist way or maybe not, I have a very nice bottle of champagne I brought over 25 years ago waiting for her Demise.

    -------------------------------------------------------------

    Another champagne socialist?

  • Comment number 99.

    Perhaps we need a return to Building Societies, run for the benefit of the members?

  • Comment number 100.

    Make no mistake. Banks are there to maximise their own profits, no matter where that comes from.
    The government and the BOE will toe the line that the banks decree.
    Tell me, is it fair and right that I cannot get a job without a bank account ?
    Why should I be forced into having to have a bank account ?
    I never get compensated for being forced into something I do not want, nor do I see any returns from the profits the bank makes on the account I am forced into having.
    All financial institutions, broadly speaking, are usurers of the first order, unless you have a lot of money in the first place of course !!

    Yes. These pariahs of the poor should be broken up into small bite sized pieces.
    The people should also have the choice of having a bank account for a job or not. Personally, I would far prefer to have a proper wage packet, rather than an account which you basically have no control over.
    As for services and such, don't want cash ? Then open your own bank and see how far you get.

    Banks, and a lot of other financial institutions, are a carbunckle on the backside of the working class............... At least give us a choice !!

    Mind you, politicians are about as useful as a chocolate fireguard, so it is pointless to listen to their rhetoric.

 

Page 1 of 7

BBC iD

Sign in

BBC navigation

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.