Monday, June 10, 2013

Stephen Williams says the public must get a share of the Lloyds and RBS sell-offs

A report on the Guardian website this evening quotes Stephen Williams, the Lib Dem MP for Bristol West, talking about how of Lloyds Bank and the Royal Bank of Scotland should be returned to the public sector:
"My Lib Dem colleagues and I will not stand by and watch private investors reap all of the benefits once the banks are taken off taxpayer intensive care. The public must get their share."
Back in 2011 Stephen wrote a pamphlet for CentreForum which called for every British adult to be given shares in banks that had been rescued by the government.

At the time I quoted him talking to the BBC:
"Every citizen would have the same rights as shareholders at the moment, so they'd have the rights to get the company annual report. They could turn up at the AGM.
"What might happen, for instance, is there could be shareholder associations set up of citizens who own these shares, who will put pressure on the banks to change their behaviour. Banks and all other companies are meant to be owned by their shareholders and to respond to their shareholders' wishes."
The Guardian report says that the Policy Exchange, the influential Conservative think-tank, has now taken up the idea.

In the early months of the Coalition I hoped that the more thoughtful elements of the two parties might find common cause. Perhaps this is one example of that happening?

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