Regulatory and Banking Reform — Statement

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 5:04 pm on 16th June 2011.

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Photo of Lord Sassoon Lord Sassoon The Commercial Secretary to the Treasury 5:04 pm, 16th June 2011

I am grateful to my noble friend Lady Kramer for her general support for what we are doing and her recognition of how far the Government have already gone in pushing forward with the structural and regulatory reforms. On the micro/macro link, I refer noble Lords to the full, and very interesting, remarks by the Governor last night at the Mansion House because he talked with great coherence and good sense about what the failure of the previous regulatory regime was, which was to collect a huge amount of detailed data that it was unable to analyse to draw out the conclusions.

However, in the new world, experienced bank supervisors are needed who are able to analyse and draw out the picture, which was never difficult-whether it was on securitisation or on a lot of other matters or funding models-before the crisis. There should be meaningful discussions with the banks in terms of the individual banks that they supervise about what this translates to in terms of the exposure of the individual bank's business model. If my noble friend was to read the Governor's full remarks, the Bank is absolutely where she would like it to be on its thinking on this. I got no sense of swing-back in it.

On ownership of the banks, we are well aware of the proposals that have come in, including that from Stephen Williams on mass retail participation. We and UKFI are actively considering mass retail participation as we think ahead to returning the banks into the private sector, which of course is not the same thing. A subset of it would be distributing the banks' shares for free or on some other basis, which raises value-for-money considerations and quite a lot of technical market considerations. But I can reassure my noble friend that all these proposals will be given due consideration.