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Banks should start playing fair with their long standing customers, says Brian Binley to George Osborne

Brian Binley MP has written an open letter to George Osborne, stating that banking reforms should provide banks with the stability and sustainability allowing them to understand the needs of their long standing, and long suffering customers.

Dear George,

The issue of bank reform has dominated public policy discourse intermittently since the financial crash of 2007. It is true that the future prosperity of our economy hangs firmly on the successful rehabilitation of the global financial services sector: but it will impact on more than just raw policy – these decisions will affect the lives of people across our country for a generation.

That is why the proposals announced yesterday – and the mood music generated around them – could have severe and negative implications. Our traditional position as a ‘home-owning democracy’ is imperilled if we allow the message to be communicated that it will become increasingly harder for those who aspire to own their homes to obtain the mortgage that they need to make their dream a reality; and the suggestion that existing home owners may become trapped by their mortgage arrangements is equally invidious.

We need banking reforms which will provide banks with the stability and sustainability to enable them to respond to the needs of their customers as well as the wider economy. I want our banks to start playing fair with their long-standing (and long-suffering) customers: including small businesses.

In tackling cases on behalf of those who have received a raw deal in my own constituency, it has long been my experience that when appropriate representations are made to those senior managers, a more helpful and conducive response is achieved. Plainly, there is a problem within our banks which prevent the proper consideration of the needs of customers being afforded appropriate weight – and that merits a more detailed policy response for the sake of the economy.

The public has stood by our banks during a period of international crisis, and the price paid will continue to be considerable for some time to come. We should, at the very least, expect their response to be one which contributes to our national well-being and economic prosperity into the future: and the public will look to the Government to be their advocates, acting as arbiter on their behalf.


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