Monday, 11 April 2011

Replies from The Bank of England and Brian Hartzer, CEO UK Retail, Wealth & Ulster of RBS Retail Banking


 As the Vickers Report on reform to Britain's banking sector was published today, it seemed like a good time to share two letters that were waiting for me this weekend when I managed to get into the studio...
For context, you might want to scroll back to see the letters I sent to Mervyn King and Brian Hartzer on 18th March. This is the web page mentioned in the reply from the Bank of England - well worth a look and if you feel like offering your opinions on any of the proposals, you have till 14th April to do so.
The Vickers Report is an interim one and Paul Mason has an interesting take on it. The final report, due in September, will be considered by a cabinet committee chaired by George Osborne and any changes are unlikely to take place until 2012. Some Lib Dems say that without complete separation, history will repeat itself and Alistair Darling thinks it is a good first step but hasn't yet gone far enough; before I know what I think, I'll have to go away and read it. It's telling that having just switched on Newsnight, none of the high street banks are able/willing/prepared to attend to defend themselves and discuss the report.

I was disappointed by Brian Hartzer's letter; the suggestion that because other banks award extortionate bonuses and shareholders say it's OK, RBS will carry on doing so does not strike me as a good enough defence for greed. To see the how RBS works out the remuneration of it's Directors, don't go to the link in the letter - it doesn't work. For starters try this instead and I'll see what else I can find before I write back to him about moving my account.

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