Darling will order them to explain themselves. He will demand that they lend more to individuals and that they increase credit lines for businesses – but will they do what they are told?
Dear [insert chief executive’s name],
If you would be so kind, could you please come to my office on Monday, 27th July. I have been looking at the recent data from the Bank of England, which says lending to business has dropped by £3.4bn.
Gordon and I are not happy.
Now, come on. This just isn’t good enough. We have bent over backwards for you lot this term – we gave you a lot of money, we were really nice to you after all those bonuses and we even let you have all those parties at Christmas.
We made sure to guarantee all your assets, we made sure the base rate was nice and low and we even created some new money for you to spend. But you still haven’t spent it! What more could we have done?
We didn’t ask for a lot in return did we? Yes, we did demand a lot more capital requirements, and yes we demanded you to spend a lot more money on all those poor chaps who could be repossessed. And yes, we know your main source of funding has dried up, and we did demand that you stop lending riskier loans. But you have to tow the line.
I thought you would act more responsibly, I really did. I thought you would do as you were told, but you haven’t. I gave you simple instructions: I said save more money and lend more money.
Now how hard is that to understand? Hmm?
So be in my office, on time. Gordon can’t make it, but I will be there and by Jove, you better have some good answers. Those of you who do not tell me what I want to hear will receive detentions and lines.
Mr Darling, Chancellor.