Chancellor George Osborne has promised to use more than £1bn in bank fines to boost funding for the National Health Service and improve “frontline health services.”
Speaking on the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show yesterday, Osborne said the £1.1bn in fines levied following the foreign exchange rate-rigging scandal will be allocated to improving GP services and other health services in the UK.
The pledge, to be formally announced in the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement on Wednesday, follows calls from NHS bosses for an extra £2bn in funding to cope with budgetary pressures on the health system.
Osborne said: “Because we have a strong economy and we’ve got the public finances under control, we can afford to put £2bn into the frontline of the NHS across the United Kingdom.
“I can tell you we can go further and use those fines that have been paid by the banks for a permanent improvement in general practitioner services. This is a down-payment on the NHS’s own long-term plan and it shows you can have a strong NHS if you have a strong economy.”
Last month, the FCA handed out its largest ever fines totalling £1.1bn over the forex rate manipulation. Citibank was fined £226m, HSBC was fined £216m, JP Morgan £222m, Royal Bank of Scotland £217m and UBS £234m.
Following the fines, shadow Chancellor Ed Balls called on the Treasury to invest the funds into the NHS.