Speaking in an Opposition Day Debate, Mr Gwynne condemned the Government’s failure to tackle the deep-rooted problems in the banking system.
According to the most recently published monthly figures, the level of net lending has plunged again. Companies took £4.7bn less in loans in November 2013, compared with the previous month. This is the largest drop since April 2011 and nearly five times the recent average monthly decline of £1bn, the Bank of England said.
This comes whilst the Government has refused to act on the Parliamentary Commission’s recommendation for a Competition and Markets Authority review of competition in the retail banking sector.
Labour has pledged to introduce new powers, including giving the regulator the power to reform rules on bonuses, introducing a licensing regime for bankers, establishing a reserve power for full separation to split banks into retail and investment arms, and imposing on ring-fenced banks a duty of care to their customers, to operate prudently and to safeguard deposits.
In his speech to the House, Andrew Gwynne MP said:
“I despair when companies come to see me as their Member of Parliament and set out perfectly viable business propositions to which, before the banking crisis, banks would have fallen over themselves to lend money, and yet they cannot even get a foot through the door.
“We must ensure that the Government’s attempts to get banks lending start to work, because it is just not happening at the moment.
“We need a vibrant and socially responsible banking sector, and ensure that bad practices are ended. The Government must recognise that banks have an important role in our communities, offering services and lending to businesses, and they must face greater competition.
“The Government and the banks must recognise that it is far from business as usual. It is time for proper banking reform.”