In recent years, we have seen a massive ﬁnancial meltdown due to over-lending, over-borrowing and poor regulation. The Government believes that the current system of ﬁnancial regulation is fundamentally ﬂawed and needs to be replaced with a framework that promotes responsible and sustainable banking, where regulators have greater powers to curb unsustainable lending practices and we take action to promote more competition in the banking sector. In addition, we recognise that much more needs to be done to protect taxpayers from ﬁnancial malpractice and to help the public manage their own debts.
- We will reform the banking system to avoid a repeat of the ﬁnancial crisis, to promote a competitive economy, to sustain the recovery and to protect and sustain jobs.
- We will introduce a banking levy and seek a detailed agreement on implementation.
- We will bring forward detailed proposals for robust action to tackle unacceptable bonuses in the ﬁnancial services sector; in developing these proposals, we will ensure they are effective in reducing risk.
- We want the banking system to serve business, not the other way round. We will bring forward detailed proposals to foster diversity in ﬁnancial services, promote mutuals and create a more competitive banking industry.
- We will develop effective proposals to ensure the ﬂow of credit to viable SMEs. This will include consideration of both a major loan guarantee scheme and the use of net lending targets for the nationalised banks.
- We will take steps to reduce systemic risk in the banking system and will establish an independent commission to investigate the complex issue of separating retail and investment banking in a sustainable way; while recognising that this will take time to get right, the commission will be given an initial time frame of one year to report.
- We will reform the regulatory system to avoid a repeat of the financial crisis. We will bring forward proposals to give the Bank of England control of macro-prudential regulation and oversight of micro-prudential regulation.
- We rule out joining or preparing to join the European Single Currency for the duration of this agreement.
- We will work with the Bank of England to investigate how the process of including housing costs in the CPI measure of inflation can be accelerated.
- We will create Britain’s first free national financial advice service, which will be funded in full from a new social responsibility levy on the financial services sector.
- We take white collar crime as seriously as other crime, so we will create a single agency to take on the work of tackling serious economic crime that is currently done by, among others, the Serious Fraud Office, Financial Services Authority and Office of Fair Trading.