UK banks are a national treasure

Ruth Porter writes for The Telegraph

The lament is that too much of our economy is dependent on them and that a drastic rebalancing towards other sectors, such as manufacturing, is necessary.

The banks are increasingly treated as pariahs, as are the people who work for them; anti-bank tirades during profits and bonus season have become something of a national sport. We have got it badly wrong; they should be viewed as a national treasure.

We excel at financial services. In 2011, the sector's trade surplus was the highest of any UK sector at £47.2bn, according to TheCityUK. PwC credits the sector with providing around 12pc of all tax receipts. In the wake of the recession, banks have faced increases in regulation, higher capital requirements and pressure to increase lending, in many cases to risky propositions. Despite this they have endured and continued to find new markets.

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