Part of the answer might be that manufacturing was decimated under the last Government. Its share of the economy fell from about 17% to the
10% to which the hon. Gentleman referred, and, of course, lending fell with it. If the hon. Gentleman were honest and recognised the damage that his party did to the manufacturing sector, perhaps what he says would be taken more seriously.
We need a more stable, resilient, efficient banking sector, and it is on that requirement that we have focused our reforms. As Members will know, back in June 2010 my right hon. Friend the Chancellor announced the establishment of an Independent Commission on Banking, chaired by Sir John Vickers, to explore how the sector should be reformed in the wake of the financial crisis. Last year the House passed the Financial Services (Banking Reform) Act 2013, which has enabled us to implement the commission’s recommendations. The changes will mean that banks must ring-fence the deposits of individuals and small businesses, so that everyday banking can be separated from volatile investment banking.
As all Members, and, indeed. all members of the public will know, the financial crisis saw taxpayers bailing out the banks that got into trouble, but we have taken steps to ensure that that will not be repeated. Our banking reform Act introduces a bail-in tool, as a result of which shareholders and creditors, not taxpayers, will be first in line to bear the costs of future bank failures.