In other, more important news…. the government has just given the go ahead for two banks Lloyds TSB and Halifax Bank Of Scotland (HBOS) to merge.
The deal would create a mega-bank which would control around 35 per cent of UK personal bank accounts and around 28 per cent of the mortgage market. Lord (Peter) Mandelson, the Business Secretary, had announced in a statement that “…preserving the stability of the financial system outweighed any potential anti-competitive effects” of the deal and it would not have to be referred to the Competition Commission.
This is arguably the most shabbiest business deal any politician, particularly Mandelson, would allow. To allow the creation of a mega-bank which may be able to crush its potential rivals would certainly stifle competition. This merger would have never been considered if those in charge of HBOS managed their affairs properly.
The deal would be bad news for savers in both banks, as well as staff working in the branch network, many will now fear for their future. Surely this must be the time for some business commentators to start openly challenging this bad decision?