Vince: "This is not so much a White Paper as a blank paper"

by Stephen Tall on July 8, 2009

Here’s the spin bout today’s Government’s Banking Regulation White Paper Labour’s chancellor Alistair Darling was hoping the media would buy, as faithfully recorded by the BBC:

UK banks will face tougher regulation and consumers will get more protection, under reforms to the financial system proposed by the chancellor.

And here’s the spin-free reality from Lib Dem shadow chancellor, Vince Cable:

This is not so much a White Paper as a blank paper. While the Government has sensibly copied certain short term aspects of the Turner review it has failed to take action on the semi-nationalised banks. Mr Darling should have used this opportunity to assert his authority over the banks – instead he is maintaining his passive role in UKFI, which is just not good enough.

“How can the Chancellor keep pretending that the semi-nationalised banks are not a tool of public policy when they benefited from billions of pounds of taxpayers money? Looking ahead to the future is all well and good, but the Government has failed to send a message to the banks that excessive risk taking and bonuses are simply unacceptable.

“There will be champagne corks popping all over the City this afternoon – the Chancellor’s statement proves that it really is business as usual.”

Youo can hear Vince interviewed on this morning’s BBC Radio 4 Today Programme about the issue, below:


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