Cautious welcome for bank crackdown plan

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A regional chief has welcomed Labour leader Ed Miliband’s plan to cut back the “big banks”.

Mr Miliband said the UK’s five largest banks were too powerful and should be forced to give up a “significant” number of branches.

The Labour leader told activists the party would create two “challenger” banks if it came to power.

Darrell Matthews, North West region director for EEF, the manufacturers’ organisation, said: “Ed Miliband has set out some good ambitions for what a more competitive banking landscape should be aiming to deliver, such as lower costs, better service and more new entrants, or challenger banks. We have long argued that more diversity, choice and competition in the banking system and beyond is needed to support business and wider growth and 
investment in the real economy.

“The best way to deliver this is to systematically reduce the barriers to new banks entering the market and encourage more churn and dynamism in the business and personal current account markets.

“That said, how this is achieved will need much careful consideration.”