I understand what my hon. Friend says about tough regulation, but I have to say that there is no evidence that hedge funds and speculators are short selling and driving down the stock of banks at the moment. There is a short selling disclosure regime in place, whereby if short selling transactions reach 0.25 per cent. they must be disclosed. All the evidence that we have at the moment shows that there is no significant short selling activity in bank stocks. Of course the FSA, as the independent regulator, will continue to monitor the situation and stands ready to reintroduce a ban if it is necessary to do so.
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