Treasury accounts reveal big bank rescue loss

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The National Audit Office (NAO) has revealed the Treasury provided total outstanding support of £141bn to help maintain financial stability in the banking sector up to March this year.

This level of support is down from the total a year before of £242bn and a peak of £1.2tr, but to remove the support, the NAO notes the loans will need to be repaid, the guarantees withdrawn, and eventually the shares returned to private ownership.

The HM Treasury Resource Accounts 2012-13 show that in return for providing support to the banks...

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About Robert Lovell

Business and finance journalist


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    By Head
    25th Jul 2013 13:08

    Insanity, or just plain corruption?

    Either the government is completely insane, or they are as corrupt as many institutions in the financial sector and operating with ulterior motives.

    How can it possibly be necessary to provide £141 billion to the banking sector to 'preserve stability' when most banks are turning over record profits, and those that aren't are continuing to pay their top staff £millions, effectively for failure, not to mention the billions paid out in profit sharing to staff generally?

    This £141 billion is a mere droplet in a vast ocean of profit and can make no real difference in the long term. Except that it takes away a net £5 billion from the tax payer (after charges and interest are recovered), which is merely added to the banks' profits. Does the public really want to pay tax just so that it can be handed over to the banks to keep them happy??

    Something is seriously wrong here. If a bank's performance is cause for concern, it should be allowed to fail, end of story. Nobody needs that kind of bank. However, we do need competition in the sector, but every failing bank is an opportunity for the creation of another that might do a better job.

    Can it really be possible that the government hasn't yet realised that the problems with the banks are not a 'phenomenon' that needs our money to make it go away, but rather are the result of the inherent profit-driven, high-risk opportunist madness that has become a drug to which banks are now inextricably addicted and which will continue to fuel economic austerity unless they are forced into rehab to clean up their act once and for all?

    What's needed here is not a carrot to try to encourage these financial hotheads to 'keep up the "good" work', but an extremely large legislative stick to provide sound boundaries within which banks and their officials are required to operate, with suitably severe penalties for those that fail to comply.

    Such a deterrent is the only way forward to protect both the banks, and the wider global economy, from the inhuman levels of greed, arrogance and reckless obsession that have become inherent throughout the financial sector.

    Just Google 'banks + greed' to see what's going on in the executive financial world right now, and ask yourself, 'Do these people/institutions really deserve my hard-earnt tax money to ensure they can carry on behaving as they please, only to be ultimately rewarded for their greed and arrogance with corporate profit shares valued in the billions and personal pension pots bigger than my lifetime's salary?'  Only a madman would offer these people more money for their troubles.

    Every government around the world needs to take out a suitably large legislative stick without delay to protect the world's economy from this Goliath of a scandal -- before the banks stick it to them in such a way that no amount of tax-payers' money will provide a means of recovery.

    But will governments dare to act? They know that the financial executives they would be taking on are richer and more powerful than even some of the most wealthy politicians in government today. And since money dictates power, one has to wonder whether the politicians would ever have the guts to stand firm and stop pandering to the whims of the banks at all.

    After all, many of these rich bankers are the rich politicians' buddies, and neither wants to upset the other.

    Which of course begs the question: who IS actually governing this (or any other) country?

    Thanks (1)