Angela Knight of the British Bankers' Association has a salutary New Year history lesson for us all:
"There are literally tens, if not hundreds, of thousands of British jobs directly and indirectly related to banking - bringing billions of pounds in tax income...The UK has a record of building up great industries such as in steel, shipbuilding, engineering. It also has a history of losing them. It loses industries by: taxing them wrongly; regulating them inappropriately; not investing in them; and taking actions that prevent them from being internationally competitive."
Leave aside the issue of tax, regulation and international competitiveness, the warning over investment is a humdinger. According to the National Audit Office, the British banking sector has had £850bn of support in various forms since autumn 2008. If that's Ms Knight's idea of inadequate public investment in the financial services, I dread to think how much taxpayers cash she wants bunged in the direction of her employers.
photo: British Bankers' Association