MPs call for bank reforms to be delayed

A GROWING number of Tory backbenchers are calling for sweeping banking reforms to be delayed over fears they could damage the fragile economic recovery.

Their intervention came as Vince Cable (pictured), the business secretary, attacked UK banks for being “disingenuous in the extreme” after they argued the Vickers reforms could force them to scale back lending to consumers and businesses.

Mark Field, the Conservative MP for the Cities of London and Westminster, hit out at Cable, accusing him of “playing to the gallery” with his “unhelpful comments”.

Field told City A.M.: “Cable feels vindicated by the BSkyB fiasco and is now flexing his muscles after a period of silence.

“To rush ahead with any reforms would be a huge mistake and a case of politics overshadowing substance.”

Sajid Javid, Tory MP for Bromsgrove and a former Deutsche Bank investment banker, also called for the implementation of any reforms to be delayed by “five to ten years”.

He said: “Timing wise the government must be very careful. Banks have not recovered from the first crisis, which has resulted in lots of regulatory changes already.

“There are storm clouds on the economic horizon and we want banks to lend.”

Meanwhile, the Prime Minister refused to be drawn on a timetable for the implementation of the Vickers report, which is expected to recommend that banks ring-fence their retail operations from their investment banks.