Ed Miliband's bank plans: would they make any difference?
Ed Miliband wants to see two new big players in the banking market. But would that make any real difference?
Ed Miliband, the leader of the Labour Party, has set out his ideas on how to improve the banking sector.
These range from a code of conduct for bankers – so that they can be struck off for bad conduct, as happens with doctors – to the launch of a specialist financial crime unit at the Serious Fraud Office.
However, the headline idea is his targeting of the so-called big five of UK banking: Lloyds, Santander, Barclays, Royal Bank of Scotland and HSBC. Miliband wants to see them forced to sell off 1,000 branches between them, to allow two new ‘challenger’ banks to add more competition, and in theory, better choice for us all.
Would it make any difference? Is seven really that much better than five?