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Business Secretary in Winchester for European Conference on Banking and the Economy
10:30am Thursday 7th March 2013 in News
Local banks are needed to help Britain out of recession, Business Secretary Vince Cable told a Hampshire conference last night.
He said the big four banks – Barclays, Lloyds, HSBC and RBS, are too dominant and were currently avoiding lending money to smaller firms because they were under pressure to increase capital.
But he said there were positives such as new banks like Metro Bank and Handelsbanken, more online lending to entrepreneurs and government plans to fund new banks to fill a gap in the market.
Speaking at the second European Conference on Banking and the Economy (ECOBATE) 2013, at Winchester Guildhall, Dr Cable said: “The consequences for the UK have been catastrophic and we are still hanging in there.
“We suffered the economic equivalent of a heart attack and heart attacks have long term consequences.
“We have a massive problem due to collapsed banks and an absence of local banks. There’s a vacuum to fill and new ideas and initiatives is what we are looking for.”
Earlier in the day Prof Richard Werner, director of the centre for banking, finance and sustainable development at the University of Southampton, said a local bank was what Hampshire needed to galvanise the economy.