Boris’s scaremongering over ‘banker bashing’ not backed up by evidence

Boris Johnson and other Tory and right wing scaremongering over 'banking bashing' are not backed up by evidence, reports Dominic Browne.

Right wing claims from Boris Johnson amongst others that fairer taxation and increased regulation in the financial industry would do “long-term damage for short term political gain” have been shown up as scaremongering not backed up by evidence.

According to this morning’s Financial Times, London remains the world’s top location for banking and other financial services – even though some predicted a mass exodus of banking staff and revenue if there were any changes to the financial system.

Offshore centres such as Jersey and the Cayman Islands, meanwhile, continued their slide.

The Financial Times reports:

London’s cheerleaders greeted the rankings with relief, saying they reflected a growing sense that the capital is emerging from the financial crisis with its global reputation intact, despite tougher regulation, new taxes on banks and higher earners and a spate of “banker-bashing” by top politicians.

Late last year HMRC collected £3.4 billion in a bankers’ bonus tax and has since implemented a permanent levy raising £2.5bn a year. However, the flagship Project Merlin – aimed at creating a new footing between banks and the public based on transparency and fairness – was widely derided as extremely tame.

Liberal Democrat peer Lord Oakeshott even resigned as a Treasury spokesman over the government’s deal on banking, saying:

“If this is robust action on bonuses, my name’s Bob Diamond.”

A fair and transparent tax policy and safer regulation of the banking industry are essential to being part of a civilised and grown up world economy that will benefit to us all – even the most ardent capatalists.

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