Labour’s plan for hundreds of high street bank branches to be sold
Ed Miliband is expected to demand the UK’s high street banks sell 1,000 branches to industry newcomers when he sets out a plan for revolution, as he blasted former Barclays chief Bob Diamond’s pay as “totally out of whack”.
In his speech on Monday, he will call for Britain’s five main banks – Barclays, HSBC, Lloyds, RBS and Santander – to go through with his demand.
The move is aimed to pave the way for two privately-run “challenger banks” to be set up in wake of Libor and interest rate scandals that have haunted England’s banking in the past few weeks.
According to Mr Milliband such a move will try and create competition among banks and potentially reduce banking charges for customers.
Speaking to the Mail on Sunday, he said: “We need a revolution in British banking.”
“Banking used to be a term of endearment. John Major was a banker. It wasn’t an insult, it was a compliment.”
Mr Miliband will also highlight a tough code of conduct for lenders that would be enforced by a body similar to the British Medical Association, with bankers banned from the profession for life if they are found guilty of fraudulent activity.
On Sunday morning, speaking to the BBC’s The Andrew Marr Show, Mr Miliband blasted the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) as being “very very tardy” as “it looks like bankers can do what they think they can get away with.”
He also admitted that Labour had got it wrong on regulation and “we need to toughen it up”.