City dismisses share giveaway as a gimmick
A PLAN to hand shares in nationalised lenders to taxpayers was scorned as “doomed to failure” and “a gimmick” yesterday by observers in the City.
BGC Partners’ Louise Cooper said it “sounds like a nightmare to administer” and that it was a throwback to the privatisations of the 1980s, asking: “Should we really be repeating the experience of a decade that brought us shoulder pads and legwarmers?”
One analyst called the plan a “populist gimmick” and said he was “working on the basis that it won’t happen”.
But Portman Capital’s Michael O’Connor, who helped devise the plan, said that criticisms are overblown. “The technology that’s necessary to produce this is now available off the shelf,” he said. “It’s a procurement issue, not a development issue.” He added that if 22m applications for Olympic tickets could be administered for a cost of £10m, then £250m should easily cover the “fair shares” plan.