BoE’s governor caught bashing Britain’s banks

AS GOVERNOR of the Bank of England, Sir Mervyn King spends his days addressing highflown audiences – or perhaps taking potshots at the chancellor over what to do with RBS.

But apparently he still has time for the ordinary mortals his work affects as well. Small business owner Mike Benson complained to Sir Mervyn by post last month when the Bank of Scotland refused to lend him £10,000 for a new van. To his surprise he received a response from the soon-to-depart governor. In the note King states that he is “sorry to read of the difficulty you have had in trying to replace your transit van” and says he can “fully understand how maddening that, and the behaviour you describe from the banks you have spoken to, must have been.”

He adds the refusal is “common to that of many of the companies across the UK that I have visited recently” and suggests that Benson try Swedish Handelsbanken instead. A nice attempt to be a man of the people, Sir Mervyn, but perhaps some of your policies on capital and liquidity aren’t helping either. And should BoE governors endorse overseas-owned banks?