Don’t break up the banks

I was pleased to read John Cridland’s (the new Head of the CBI) comments against the break up of the UK banks.  A break up of the banks would put Britain at a competitive disadvantage with those jurisdictions which prefer to leave the banks intact.  Anything that weakens the banks weakens the economic recovery and as such will weaken the housing market.  We need to get the banks lending more money to SMEs and also supporting the housing market by increasing mortgage lending – in particular to first time buyers.

I hope the politicians will not jump on the populist bandwagon of bashing the banks and instead turn their attention to supporting the economy through this difficult period.

Lindsay Darroch
Head of Property Services

Small business support

I was disappointed to read that the major banks and the Government have yet to reach agreement in terms of project Merlin, which is a plan to increase the availability of finance to small and medium businesses.  I think that support of small and medium businesses is fundamental to getting the economy back on the right track.  Given the furore over bankers’ pay and bonuses I would have thought the banks would have been more inclined to be more co-operative, although I do appreciate that there are some legal issues that need to be dealt with including the issues of lending to what might be described as weaker businesses.

I would urge both sides to work together and reach an agreement as quickly as possible to give small and medium businesses the funding they urgently require to survive and flourish in this difficult time.

Lindsay Darroch
Head of Property Services