RAPID RESPONSES

No quick fix

[Re: Coalition’s lack of courage threatens a triple-dip recession, yesterday]

Until Britain makes deep cuts in government expenditure to make room for cuts to taxation, there will be no great increase in the spending power of consumers. Pumping up quantitative easing and demanding that banks lend more is a waste of time without demand, confidence and the incentive to invest. And we should have no confidence in the ideas of Ed Balls and the Labour party. Temporary cuts to national insurance or VAT will do nothing but create a temporary surge in demand – if that. Just look at what happened with the stamp duty holiday.

David Peddy, managing director of Surgical Instruments Group Holdings

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Banking culture

[Re: Is self-regulation the answer to recent banking scandals?, yesterday]

Recent banking scandals were, in many ways, entirely predictable. The real issues are systemic and cultural. Regulation cannot make people have the right values, ethics or beliefs. We need bank leaders and employees to believe that treating customers fairly is right – not just to comply with the regulatory process. How can we achieve this? Organisations need to understand the invisible assumptions and beliefs that drive their behaviour. Many actors have a part to play in this – leaders, middle managers, employees and boards. But regulators can have no more than a bit part in setting the general tone.

Paul Sweeney, associate director at Boxwood