Cable: banks need surgery

BUSINESS secretary Vince Cable emerged from a long period of keeping a low profile yesterday to condemn large bank bonuses as “offensive” and to call for “fundamental surgery” on the industry.

Having stayed out of the limelight since December when he was recorded saying he had “declared war” on Rupert Murdoch, he has returned to his campaign against banks.

Asked about the possible break-up of investment and retail banking, he said: “There needs to be fundamental reform. There will have to be change and it will have to be radical.”

“What we should notice at the end of (banking reforms) is the banks are more competitive and that they are safer and that they are not making large excess profits which then fuel the bonus culture,” he said. His attack on banks days after the Merlin deal was launched could put him on a collision course with the Treasury.