Lord Mayor Nick Anstee: Stop bashing the banks

BREAKING the financial industry would wound the wider economy, Lord Mayor of the City of London Nick Anstee warned last night, in a defence of the banking sector.

Anstee welcomed the coalition government’s approach to cutting Britain’s budget deficit, but urged against a populist crackdown on large lenders. “I hope calls for the City to be ‘cut down to size’ can now cease,” Anstee said in his address to the Square Mile at the Mansion House dinner. “The financial services industry and the rest of the economy are inextricably linked – break one and you wound the other.”

Anstee vigorously opposed a European Union-wide tax on banks, arguing nations should make individual choices in the way they raise revenues and deal with their businesses.

He also called on Prime Minister David Cameron and deputy leader Nick Clegg to engage with the EU more thoroughly to avoid a repeat of tthe passing of the punitive directive on hedge funds and private equity firms.