Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/476/2116
Take over the robber banks!
THERE'S BEEN good news and bad news for shareholders and bosses of Britain's high street banks. After Barclays announced a record £7 billion profit; Lloyds TSB declared profits of almost £4.25 billion. Halifax/Bank of Scotland expects around £5.5 billion profit, Royal Bank of Scotland hopes for about £9.3 billion while HSBC expects a record £12 billion.
Total bank profits of around £40 billion are equal to £475 from each household in the UK, 14% higher than last year. The bad news for the bank bosses is that super profits are accompanied by real anger at the bank charges these giant institutions inflict on their customers.
Stories of banks imposing bank charges of £35 for bouncing a cheque or going pennies over an agreed borrowing level have led a million people to download a letter that could force the banks to refund money. The 'illegal fees' could add up to £7.2 billion if the 'competition regulators' rule against the charges.
There will be colossal pressure now for lower bank charges or for a windfall tax to lessen the contradiction of bank super-profits and increasing public indebtedness.
And, given the massive antagonism to the banks, when could be a better time for the unions to demand that the banks and building societies be taken into public ownership and their resources used for socially useful ends, including maintaining public-sector health and education?
In The Socialist 1 March 2007:
Socialist Party news and analysis
War and terrorism
Socialist Party congress
International socialist news and analysis
Workplace news and analysis