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Anthony Thomson Comments

14th June 2012

Anthony Thomson, Chairman of Metro Bank, comments on the banking reform white paper released today:

“Today’s White Paper on banking reform is an important step forward towards a new banking that supports lending to both businesses and families.

“We welcome any move to make it simpler for consumers to switch bank accounts. Too many consumers stick with poor service from their bank simply because they believe switching to be too complicated. Metro Bank believes that customers deserve better. The free current-account redirection service which will become operational in September 2013 is also a great idea which will simplify switching and help consumers understand that the power is in their hands.

“As expected, the White Paper has confirmed plans for UK banks to ring-fence their retail operations from those of their investment arms, giving savers better protection from bank failure. However, we must bear in mind that the banking liquidity problems of four years ago weren't a result of investment banking errors, but errors made by retail banks’ overreliance on wholesale funding. The banks borrowed huge amounts of money from the markets and once that source of liquidity dried up, their overreliance led to their demise. While ring-fencing will protect depositor’s money, it won’t stop another crisis by itself.”