SP: European Commission proposal on banks 'irresponsible'

16 February 2010

SP: European Commission proposal on banks 'irresponsible'

SP European Parliamentary group leader Dennis de Jong has called the European Commission's proposal aimed at maintaining Europe's 'megabanks' "irresponsible". De Jong put a question on the matter to the European Commission today. The SP believes that banks should be split into secure savings banks for the public in general, and 'speculative' banks. The former would be obliged to avoid risk, while the latter would be allowed to indulge in riskier investments. "While the entire world wants to see better regulation of the financial system, the Commission is looking to maintain the existing principles of global banking. This gives a glimpse of the huge gulf between Brussels, which always favours the interests of the bankers, and the citizens of the member states who have had enough of people behaving irresponsibly with their savings. For the SP, there can be no question of 'business as usual' in banking."

Dennis de JongThe SP has for some time argued that, in the wake of the credit crisis, the banks should be split up. When Dennis de Jong visited the the Basel Committee - the international surveillance group for the banking sector - last December as part of a working visit by members of the European Parliament's 'crisis committee', he urged the Committee to take this course, This proposal has now also been raised by President Obama, as well as Dutch Finance Minister Wouter Bos. In addition to splitting the banks, the SP has said that the continuing liberalisation of the financial-economic system must be halted. Supervision of banks by national surveillance authorities must be tightened up, the powers of shareholders curtailed and the perverse bonus culture done away with. Finally, the SP would like to see the introduction of a bank tax, so that those who caused the crisis would also bear the costs of it, rather than the taxpayers having to do this, as is now the case.

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