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Bank bailout unfair, says BSA

The Building Societies Association says the recent Government bailout of several big high street banks is unfair on mutuals and their members.

At the BSA’s annual lunch chairman John Goodfellow said it was unfair that the sector had been forced to pay for failed banks.

In regard the sector’s FSCS levy as a result of the Bradford and Bingley and the Icelandic banks, he said: “What is notable is that there has been no requirement for any Government bailout of the building society sector; rather difficulties have been dealt with within the sector.

“At the same time, however, societies have been called upon to pay a significant share of the cost of bailing out failed institutions in the banking sector.

“In the light of building society performance, it is essential that we examine the future funding of the FSCS, at the very least we need to examine the
pros and cons of risk related funding of the scheme so that
those institutions that act in a prudent manner are appropriately
rewarded.”

Goodfellow also addressed public concerns regarding the lack of affordable mortgages in the market. He said: “There has been a political and media chorus for all institutions to ‘pass on’ the Bank of England base rate reduction
announced last week. But for all societies there are a range
of issues to be considered when looking at the structure of interest
rates – these factors will affect each society differently.”

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