Banking on choice
[Re: Why it must be made much easier to switch bank accounts, yesterday]
It should certainly be made easier for customers to change bank accounts. But such a policy will only be worthwhile if it’s combined with measures that encourage banks to differentiate their offering. Transparent pricing structures would be a good start – perhaps accompanied by a clear proviso that free banking services are largely a myth. Ultimately banks need to feel that, if they don’t stand out among competitors, they will fail. There’s really no sense in encouraging consumer movement if those consumers are just shifting assets from one state-backed, or state guaranteed, institution to another.
I don’t think the supermarket sector is really that competitive. It’s certainly difficult for new entrants to get established, and there are plenty of stories about the lower rungs of the supply chain being bullied.
[Re: Why QE is not the answer to Britain’s economic problems, Friday]
The financial policies of Labour and the coalition are barely different from each other. The only major difference, according to the Centre for Policy Studies, is that Labour would spend an extra £26bn trying to find work for another 70,000 people, at a cost of £370,000 per job. With a choice like this, it’s no wonder politics is so unpopular.
Blaming the financial crisis on the Big Bang in the 1980s is a way of blaming Margaret Thatcher rather than New Labour.
It’s a doddle to switch accounts. The real trouble is there’s not a hair of difference between them.
There’s no case for the undemocratic House of Lords. But don’t replace it with party lists and 15 year terms.
Nick Clegg has promised a new kind of politician in the Lords. Yes, partisans unprepared to face the electorate twice.