Magazine article The Spectator

It's a Miracle That These Snowdrops Return, So Please Don't Jump Up and Down on Them

Magazine article The Spectator

It's a Miracle That These Snowdrops Return, So Please Don't Jump Up and Down on Them

Article excerpt

CITY AND SUBURBAN

It is nature's annual miracle. Peeping up above the frozen ground like snowdrops, here come the High Street banks to tell us that they have survived another year. Early-- flowering varieties like Barclays and Lloyds will be with us next week, and already - for this is an annual, too - the first headline has complained of greedy banks. Just look at the profits they will be declaring: billions of pounds, all gouged out of us as their customers, so throw a brick at them now or write to your MP about them. It's a scandal. Vainly they retort that official investigators have been crawling all over their business for years, that dozens of mortgage lenders and credit-card issuers are hurling money at us, that if there is less competition to lend to small businesses, that is down to the Chancellor, who has imposed a standard tariff -- or even that big banks require many billions of capital, which has to be fed. …

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