Government should ensure bank failure is safe

Mark Littlewood appears on R4's The World Tonight

Mark Littlewood appeared on Radio 4's The World Tonight. The discussion focussed on George Osborne's banking reforms which set out to "ring-fence" risky investment operations from the High Street and break up those which fail to reform.

Mark Littlewood argues that there is a "danger of falling for the myth that all retail banking is intrinsically safe and all investment banking is intrinsically risky". Referring to the collapse of the British retail bank Northern Rock, Mr Littlewood states that analysis behind the policy is poor.

Although George Osborne's view that the taxpayer should not have to pay for the mistakes of banks is supported by Mark Littlewood, he argues that the solution is to ensure that bank failure is safe. Mr Littlewood states that banks will fail so it is vital that they can be wound up without relying on a future taxpayer-funded bailout.

Metro Bank is the "first new High Street retail bank in England" for 150 years indicating that rather than further regulating the industry, the government must lower industry entry barriers to increase competition.

Listen to the full interview here. Segment starts at 9.59.