Societies aren’t on the political radar


With the general election looming, where is the financial services industry in the political landscape?

For months we’ve been waiting for answers to questions such as – how are you going to ensure the economic turmoil of the past couple of years never happens again? How are you going to build an effective regulatory system? And what role should the Bank of England have in future?

This election is the chance for the main parties to put their ideas to the test with voters. Considering the mess the country is in and the blame heaped on the financial services community since 2007, I’d have expected to hear a lot more about what is going to change and the thinking behind this change.

And I’d also have expected to see shadow chancellor George Osborne driving the Tory agenda forward.

Why? Because a few months ago Osborne published a blueprint for the banking sector which promoted building societies as a business model for the future and promised to make it easier to establish new mutuals if he got his hands on the Treasury tiller.

But what have we got? A big fat nothing. Could it be that no party knows how to dig the economy out of its hole? Or are they all determined to keep regulation off the agenda, thereby giving the next government as much wriggle room as possible?

I don’t know the answers but I do know I’m wary of politicians who stand for one thing one day and something else the next.