03rd November 2009
Brussels 3 November 2009. Ashley Fox MEP, a member of the Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee in the Europe an Parliament, today welcomed the proposed break up of Lloyds and RBS as a chance to promote greater competition in the UK banking sector but is still concerned about the risks to taxpayers and the economy as a whole.
As part of the State aid requirements of the European Commission, the Government has agreed restructuring plans for RBS and Lloyds that include the divestment of a significant proportion of their retail and corporate banking assets over the next four years.
Mr Fox commented,
"UK businesses and borrowers need access to a competitive bank market to get bank lending and the economy moving again, the intention of increased competition should be welcomed.
"However, UK tax payers will be stunned by the vast amount of additional money that the government is proposing to put into the banks - nearly £40 Billion, more than was originally given to bail the banks out in the first place.
“We also need to ensure that good banking assets of taxpayer owned banks aren’t sold off at rock bottom prices. We all have a stake in these banks and those stakes need protecting.
"Sadly the current Government does not have a great record when it comes to asset sales, and if the right sale price can’t be found then the sale shouldn’t go ahead, this kind of decision shouldn’t be rushed."