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The Credit Cruncher was conceived to help you to keep up to date with credit crunch and recession developments, it provides some helpful credit crunch advice and it addresses personal debt. The Credit Cruncher also seeks to explain how the credit crunch started and shed some light on the worldwide recession. Recently, we have begun to look at how BREXIT will affect the UK economy. Please feel free to leave comments where relevant.

25 Feb 2011

Project Merlin

The idea of Project Merlin held some hope of holding the banks to account for the misery they have spread through the economy, although in reality the measures could never be as punitive as the larger population would like.
We rely too much on our financial trading to make it unprofitable, it is one of the few remaining sectors that the modern UK now excels at...
What concessions have been drawn out of Project Merlin?
  • To lend more money in 2011
  • To lend more to small businesses
  • To pay less in bonuses than they did last year
  • To be more transparent about their pay packages
  • To make a greater contribution to regional economies and society.
Who has signed up?
  • HSBC
  • Barclays
  • Royal Bank of Scotland
  • Lloyds Banking Group
Santander have also been involved in the project

To add in some specifics, the banks that have signed up will commit to making £190bn of credit available to businesses in 2011, up by £11bn, £76bn will be made available specifically to smaller businesses.

The banks will also provide £200m capital to David Cameron's Big Society Bank, which is supposed to finance community projects, and they will provide an extra £1bn over three years to the Business Growth Fund, which aims to help small business in hard-pressed parts of the UK.

And bonuses?

To be fair the banks have agreed some realistic controls, but there is not going to be a huge reversal of the bonus culture. Millions will still be earned by the few in salaries and bonuses

Was it worth the effort?

The agreement is a realistic 'moral victory', something was required politically, and this was the result. It will not make tremendous waves through the financial sector, and as one of the leading 'industries' of the UK, it makes little sense to 'hamstring' the banks. The banks have been in the spotlight, they created much of the mess, they have been the first to see a turn-around in fortunes. It would make little economic sense to stamp on the growth that is now starting to show. On the other hand, the banks have been caught out, and made to publicly acknowledge their part in the financial crisis - it's time to move on.

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