Banking Reform — Statement

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 4:45 pm on 14th June 2012.

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Photo of Lord Sassoon Lord Sassoon The Commercial Secretary to the Treasury 4:45 pm, 14th June 2012

My Lords, the noble Lord, Lord Jones of Birmingham, is always rightly concerned about the financing of British business, which is very important. Today's measures are not principally about that. I could talk about the £21 billion national loan guarantee scheme or the fact that our 10-year sterling sovereign rate has been in the 1.5% to 1.7% range for the past few weeks, which is an unprecedented level. That all flows through. Here, we are significantly reducing the risk of another banking crisis. It was that crisis-the disruption and its aftermath-that caused such difficulty in the flow of loans to our businesses. Whatever we do here to minimise the chances of it happening again must be good for our businesses.

As for the UK being a competitive centre of banking, the Government are working incredibly hard. For example, only this morning I was at a very important meeting with businesses and authorities from the UK and Hong Kong, talking about how we would build the offshore RMB centre in London. That is an example of the forward-looking approach that we take to making sure that the UK and London continue to be the global financial centres of choice.