I swear reading the Evening Standard is bad for my digestion. Case in point, a piece in Friday’s business section by Anthony Hilton entitled ‘What Banks is need is Nationalisation” which caused my jaw to hit the floor.
the public interest demands that someone performs the basic banking function. That requires capital and if it is not going to come from shareholders then from where?…. conclusion is that banks should be state-owned. State banks should provide basic deposit and lending services which meet the core needs of the economy.
Sweet Jesus, aren’t there enough examples from the 20th that state-owned firms don’t work? If you think customer service at your local branch is bad now, wait until it it is run with the same mentality as the post office. No doubt getting a bank account (note singular, because no one will need more than one) will be as easy as getting a phone line installed in the days of the GPO.
Of course, there would have to be some rationalisation as well, we wouldn’t need numerous, wasteful branches in the average high street, but what’s a few job losses compared to the efficiency to be gained? How about calling the new group British Leyland Bank?
The sad thing is that there are already alternative models for retail banking, like Building societies and Savings banks. Sadly it seems the statist mentality is alive and well at Evening Standard. I also noted in Friday’s paper that their city editor has been appointed the new editor of the Independent. Hopefully he’ll take Anthony Hilton with him.