Rapid responses

Bankers respond

[Re: British Bankers’ Association mulls merger in hunt for cash, yesterday]

The British Bankers’ Association (BBA) has not been directed by its members to seek to merge with any other trade association. At its recent meeting, the board voted unanimously to approve the budget for 2013, which accommodates the expected loss of income from Libor licensing. We believe this is a real vote of confidence in the BBA, and its members’ recognition of its continued importance to our industry.

Sir Nigel Wicks, chairman of the British Bankers’ Association.

[Re: New tax avoidance rule is a recipe for chaos and disorder, yesterday]

Ronnie Ludwig makes a crucial point about the new tax avoidance rule. It’s incredibly important that something is done – artificial and aggressive tax avoidance destroys the legitimacy of the system. But that rule mustn’t damage legitimate tax planning, and the devil is in the detail. “Fair” and “just” arrangements are clearly subjective and it would be better to have a certain and solid set of rules. We also need an independent body to regulate the decisions, as HMRC is clearly an interested party.

Maria Sellers

An anti-avoidance rule is just a sticking plaster. The only way we can end pernicious avoidance strategies is by simplifying taxes and lowering rates.

Bob Holden



Shale offers engineering jobs, lower energy bills, new tax revenue, less reliance on Russia, and reduced pollution. What’s not to like?

Gas expert professor Lord Stern says shale gas is unlikely to be supplied in enough quantities to be commercially viable.

Banking union is the first part of Hermann Van Rompuy’s roadmap to a European superstate. Why is David Cameron backing it?

It’s essential for the City that George Osborne makes no concessions on Eurozone banking union merely for the sake of agreement.