Economy

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 9:40 pm on 3rd November 2008.

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Photo of Baroness Vadera Baroness Vadera Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Competitiveness and Small Business), Department for Business, Enterprise & Regulatory Reform, Parliamentary Secretary (Competitiveness and Small Business), Cabinet Office 9:40 pm, 3rd November 2008

My Lords, I have not dealt with a number of questions. I would be very happy to answer them. On dividends, we have made it clear, as was made clear on the night and in the agreements, that it is perfectly possible for the banks to pay dividends, except in the first year. I point out that Barclays has also declared that it will not be paying a dividend, regardless of the fact that it did not come to us. Dividends can be paid when our preference shares are repaid. I have no apology to make for protecting taxpayers.

The 12 per cent coupon is reasonably competitively priced. If one looks at the Swiss banks and at the detail of the whole package of terms, for example, on the Dutch deal to which the noble Lord referred, there is a step up in the coupon on the preference shares over a period of time. Many factors go into the overall package. I do not believe that, as shareholders in the ordinary equity ourselves, the Treasury would have taken an imbalanced view of both the value of the shares that we will own and protecting the taxpayers in preference shares.