Tories lay claim to Obama policy

Tories say Obama's new policy mirrors theirs
Tories say Obama's new policy mirrors theirs

By staff

George Osborne's claims that the Conservatives would mirror Barack Obama's new bank restrictions in government have left Labour claiming their reforms already have.

The US president has announced new regulations barring banks from engaging in proprietary trading, in which they use their funds to speculate on financial markets.

"This is a welcome move by President Obama that accords very much with our thinking," Mr Osborne said.

"I have said consistently that we should look at separating retail banking from activities like large scale propriety trading - and that this was best done internationally."

The shadow chancellor said there was also "growing agreement on a bank levy". He argued that the Conservatives are "part of an emerging international consensus on these issues".

Labour, which has sought to paint the Tories as isolated on the global economy, hit back with claims that it was closer to Mr Obama's economic policy.

City minister Paul Myners told Channel 4 News: "What President Obama is suggesting is very much in accordance with the direction we have been setting."

The Treasury remains reluctant to impose a levy on banks and has not yet moved as far as Mr Obama's measures, however.

Markets have already reacted negatively to news of the president's determination to "fight" the banks. Shares in Barclays slipped 3.5 per cent, but the FTSE 100 was up overall by 2.76 per cent after the first hour of trading this morning.


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