July 26, 2009
From the BBC News:
The chancellor is to quiz bank bosses over how much they charge small firms for loans, saying he is “extremely concerned” their rates may be too high.
Alastair Darling said the cost of loans seemed to have risen, despite the UK’s record low base interest rate of 0.5%.
He told the BBC that banks had a duty to restore lending levels, saying the government did not rescue the banking sector “out of some charitable act”.
September 21, 2008
Heather Connon in the Guardian writes
Lloyds TSB snatched the Halifax from the jaws of the credit crunch – but with thousands of jobs on the line and HBOS’s capital problems far from solved, the giant new bank will need skilful handling to ensure that it is a success.
The merger was quickly passed by the government.
…the Office of Fair Trading, which blocked Lloyds TSB’s attempt to acquire the much smaller Abbey National seven years ago, has been forced by the government to wave this deal through.
Generally if a bank merger this size was going to take place, questions would be asked.