Nigel Lawson backs strong regulation for 'vanilla' high street banks and lighter regulation for the rest of the financial sector
Former Chancellor of the Exchequer Nigel Lawson has spoken to a conference organised by London's new Legatum think tank today and urged a split between banks that perform retail and investment banking functions.
According to a press release from Legatum (I do not have Lord Lawson's full text), "he called on the Government to split up the banks, saying that, ‘plain vanilla’ banking, (high street banking) should be split up and regulated, but that the rest of the financial sector should be allow to operate under a light touch regime on the understanding that there would be no help from the taxpayer for those who gambled and lost."
He said that banks had forgotten economic history and thought that the good times would roll and roll. "We know from history," Lord Lawson said, "the bigger the binge the bigger the hangover".
Writing on CentreRight recently, David Green of Civitas outlined a model of small retail banks that could invest in their localities.
PS Do keep an eye on the Legatum think tank. I'm confident that it is going to be a big gain for the centre right community in Britain. Although it has a global remit - with a focus on prosperity, civil society and international justice and security issues - it is determined to put deep roots down in London. It held a conference today on the future of capitalism and with the Henry Jackson Society is holding an important conference on Iran on Thursday. One of its team members, Ryan Streeter, wrote for ConservativeHome yesterday on the need for Britain to renew its enterprise culture. Much more about Legatum on its website.