Kate Hollern: Labour’s plan to reform the banking sector

Labour has today published its plans to reform the banking sector so that it better supports growing businesses, economic growth and rising living standards in areas like Blackburn who have suffered from lack of investment under the present Coalition Government and a banking sector uninterested in helping businesses and often caught ripping off consumers    

Too often in recent years our banks have fallen far short of the standards expected of them. After so many scandals we need major reforms and long-term cultural change to restore trust and ensure our banks start working for consumers and businesses again.  

We need much more action than this government has been prepared to take. So Labour has produced a banking reform paper which sets out how it will change rules on bonuses, increase competition and get more lending to small and medium-sized businesses.  

Labour will also extend to at least ten years the period bank bonuses can be clawed back in cases of misconduct.

As has been seen in recent days, wrongdoing can take years to uncover. The current proposals to claw back bonuses announced by the present Government are too weak and do not cover a long enough period of time. Labour will ensure people involved in misbehaviour and misconduct would have to give back their bonuses for at least a decade after they have been paid out.  

And Labour will establish a proper British Investment Bank to help growing businesses get the funding they need to expand and create jobs. Because it’s only when working people and businesses succeed that Britain succeeds too.

Reforming the banking sector is another example of Labour being prepared to stand up against strong interest groups; many who bank roll the Tories and have benefited from huge tax cuts for the well off.

Labour will stick up for many not the few.

Author: Kate Hollern

Kate is the leader of the Labour opposition group on Blackburn with Darwen Council.

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