BREAK UP THE BANKS




An argument is brewing about what to do with our banks. It’s about time.

It's been five years since the banking crash. Months since LIBOR and a pile-up of scandal which has left us all cynical: mis-sold PPI and interest rate swaps, money-laundering and tax dodging.

To our freeloading, Too Big To Fail megabanks, we say: This town ain't big enough for the both of us.


An ongoing threat. They're Too Big To Bail.

A few megabanks are holding society hostage, reaping huge unearned profits on the back of the state. By threatening us with bankruptcy, the big banks extract support worth tens of billions of pounds each year - the future wages of fire-fighters, anaesthetists and lollipop ladies.

Megabanks have the taxpayer over a barrel. They're drinking the bar dry and putting it on our tab.


Break up the Banks. End Bank Welfare.

Over the past 30 years, our banks have grown bigger, riskier and fewer. Through incestuous "intra-financial" lending sprees, they've become wired to one another like a string of exploding fairy lights. If one bank goes down, they probably all will.

The megabanks are a clear and ongoing threat to society.

Now Justin Welby, the new Archbishop of Canterbury, has challenged George Osborne:


You continue to defend the idea of a small group of absolutely colossal banks... Is that lack of will to break them up not simply a recipe for a repetition of disasters?


He's right. We need to end bank welfare. Here's how.


Cut their size

Britain lives in the shadow of a few megabanks. They're unwieldy, over-complex and unmanageable.

Bigger banks don't contribute more. They exist to turn public money into profit.

Cap bank size at $100 billion.

Curb borrowing

Megabanks want to borrow a lot and own little. With the taxpayer in a headlock, it’s the easiest way for them to extort money.

George Osborne would let banks borrow 33 times what they own outright. Noone would expect to get a mortgage worth 33 times their deposit. It's far too much.

Cap bank borrowing at 14 times their net worth

Saner institutions

Most of our banks are run in the name of a narrow group – their shareholders – who have always the option to get out while the going’s good.

This drives banks to be permanently on the make, regardless of the cost to their own organisations - never mind wider society.

Most French and German banks are run differently – as mutuals or in state ownership. Why not ours?


We're planning future actions. Stay in touch.

On 16 May we took our message to Canary Wharf. There will be more to come. If you'd like to receive email updates from us, please fill in the form below.