Sunday 19 January 2014 11:20 pm

Letters to the Editor – 20/01 – Bank competition, Heathrow noise, Best of Twitter

Bank competition [Re: Banking competition is already fierce – but technology will intensify it further, Thursday] Competition is hardly “fierce” in British banking. America has 7,000 banks: we have five, controlling four-fifths of the market. Even supermarket banks use their systems. Splitting them, and the introduction of new technology, will help. But regulation remains a fixed cost that kills market entry: Metro Bank is the first new high street banking network to be created since Georgian times. We will never have real competition until our banks are no longer too big to fail. Dr Eamonn Butler, director, Adam Smith Institute ……………….. Heathrow noise [Re: Assembly hits out at Davies for keeping Heathrow on the table, Thursday] While we cannot agree with the London Assembly that Heathrow expansion should be ruled out by the Airports Commission, we certainly agree that London could use a noise regulator. It is vital that airport expansion goes ahead as soon as possible after 50 years of political dithering in the UK. But we can move the whole process forward right now by addressing a basic lack of trust and transparency between those pressing the economic case for airport expansion, and some highly vocal sections within local communities. Baroness Jo Valentine, chief executive, London First ……………….. BEST OF TWITTER Miliband’s cap on bank market share in the absence of new entrants will reduce lending to small businesses. @Phillip_Blond Steve Webb has backed away from his full-frontal assault on pension charges. Glad he is delaying. @rosaltmann So far in 2014, the Tories have defended three local by-elections and have lost all of them. @MSmithsonPB Italian construction is collapsing: output down 7.1 per cent over three months, 10.8 per cent year-on-year. @minefornothing

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