Banks have 12 weeks to persuade the Treasury to drop the idea or face a bill that investment bank UBS has estimated at up to £3bn a year for several years.[From Banking reforms ‘to cost £3bn a year’ – Telegraph]
The government is proposing that deposits will be safeguarded up to some figure — maybe 50K or 100K for individual personal accounts and half a million or so for small business accounts — but we were discussing yesterday, a limit of £35K would cover almost all depositors (save for very rich people such as M.P.s). So, what has this got to do with payments?
Well every regulatory cloud has a silver lining for IT, doesn’t it. The BBA spokesman drew the assembled IT persons attention to the impending requirement for banks to pay customers quickly when they want to withdraw their money from collapsing financial institutions. The government are saying that all customers should get their money back by cheque within a week if, say, a building society goes bust. As one of the questioners pointed out though, this ridiculous 1960s world view could not possibly be implemented because there just physically aren’t enough cheques in the U.K. to fulfill the requirement (and the Post Office probably couldn’t cope either). A couple of people I spoke to said that there will be a bonanza for IT suppliers because none of the banks’ existing systems are up to scratch in this respect. Incidentally, the chance of a building society doing a Northern Rock is quite small, because
On average, building societies fund 70% of their lending through deposits. Savings inflows to building societies achieved a record for March of £1.2bn, a 70% increase.[From Building society mortgage loans fall 68% | Money | The Guardian]
What puzzelled me, throughout the whole discussion, was why the government had bothered to save Northern Rock at all (using my money). I”m hoping, though, that if the Directors of small and specialist IT consultancies make a series of disastrous decisions that bankrupt their enterprise, then the government will step in to prop up the companies while allowing said Directors to leg it with the loot.
These opinions are my own (I think) and presented solely in my capacity as an interested member of the general public [posted with ecto]