DAVID Cameron stepped up his rhetoric against the City yesterday, using his first conference speech as Prime Minister to hit out at banks and big business.
He said the tripartite system of regulation was partly to blame for the economic crisis, but that individual bankers had to take more responsibility.
“Labour failed to regulate the City properly. But they didn’t force those banks to take massive risks with other people’s money,” Cameron said.
On the final day of the first Conservative conference in government for 14 years, Cameron repeated calls for banks to lend more to small businesses.
“Taxpayers bailed you out, now it’s time for you to repay the favour,” he said.
The £2.5bn levy on banks was one of the coalition’s most important achievements, he said, while aides confirmed he was considering a second banking levy on profits and remuneration.
Although there were warm words for “doers, grafters, inventors, and entrepreneurs,” Cameron played down the importance of big business to the economy. “When you think of a wealth-creator, don’t think of the tycoon in a glass tower. Think of the man… who cleans windows,” he said.