We need to stop Rishi Sunak’s plan for the banks
Rishi Sunak holds his hands wide while making a speech

We need to stop Rishi Sunak’s plan for the banks

By: Nick Dearden
Date: 5 December 2022

“We can make the UK a better place to be a bank,” Rishi Sunak’s City minister told a banking summit on Tuesday. The same day, the media reported government plans to weaken the rules that separate the risky parts of banking from the parts ordinary people like us rely on.

These rules were brought in to help prevent a repeat of the 2008 financial crisis, where speculation and risky bank behaviour triggered an economic meltdown which affected all of us.

The rule change is just one piece of the government’s plans for a ‘big bang’ of financial deregulation, a ludicrously reckless programme which will free up City speculators to make even more money, while we, the public, bear the risk. We truly have a bankers’ government.

Wednesday in Parliament

The centrepiece of the government’s deregulation drive is the Financial Services and Markets Bill, a piece of legislation which threatens to shred standards which were brought in to constrain the excesses of the banks. The bill will be debated in the House of Commons on Wednesday, and we need to make sure as many MPs as possible are there, to raise the problems with this bill and support amendments.

We are particularly concerned about a part of this bill which hands more power to speculators to gamble on the prices of energy and food. It’s less than 10 years since our campaigning won a new set of rules to constrain speculation in these markets. The rules were never enough, but they’ve been watered down to the point where this gambling is again fuelling chaos in the markets and helping push up prices in the middle of a cost of living crisis. Now, the British government wants to ditch the rules altogether.

It’s irresponsible in the extreme to rip away rules designed to keep the economy safe. But it’s obscene to give financial speculators more power to profit from the necessities of life. Help us make sure they don’t get away with it.

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