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Press Release

Press Releases

Which?: Chancellor must stand firm on banking reform amid intense bank lobbying

Which? press release

This week we have seen u-turns from the Chancellor on Budget measures including the controversial pasty, caravan and charities taxes. George Osborne says he is now focused on the biggest things that matter to the economy.

Ahead of the major Mansion House speech from the Chancellor and the expected publication of the White Paper on the Banking Reform Bill this month, Which? is calling on the Government to stand firm on its banking reform commitments amid intense lobbying from the banks . The Government must prove they are listening to the public by making sure consumers are properly protected from a recurrence of the banking collapse that required a bailout to the tune of £2000 for every man, woman and child.

Richard Lloyd, executive director of Which?, said:

"We have seen intense lobbying from the banks since the Independent Commission on Banking report, including a crescendo of scare-mongering over recent weeks on the risk of the end of 'free banking' and of big financial institutions leaving the country.

"The Chancellor must resist buckling under this pressure. Plans to ring-fence risky investment banking from essential consumer retail banking must not be derailed by vested interest and must stick to the proposed timetable so that consumers never again have to foot the bill for a banking bailout that even the banks admit will not be repaid in our lifetime.

"71% of people told us they are not confident the Government will act in the consumer's best interest when implementing banking reform. Without strong action that shakes up the culture of British banking consumers will continue to pay the price. The Government must also make sure that the competition recommendations of the Vickers Report are fully enacted to increase competition and choice on the high street."

A Which? online survey of 1299 GB adults (6-8 Sept 2011) found:

· 71% of people are not confident that the government will act in consumer's best interests when implementing banking reform.

· 76% of people say the Government have not done enough to ensure there is no repeat of the financial crisis.

· 6 in 10 (61%) do not think that banks have learnt their lesson from the banking crisis.

· 7 in 10 (71%) would like to see a division between retail and investment banks.

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