Osborne ‘doesn’t convince’ City

By politics.co.uk staff

Prospective Tory chancellor George Osborne does not convince the City’s top bosses, according to a survey by the Financial Times.

The vast majority of chief executives in the financial sector prefer Alistair Darling the survey says.

Mr Osborne’s stance on bankers’ pay and taxes, and his lack of experience in financial services means that nearly 30 bosses surveyed by the paper remain suspicious of him.

One banker said: “The bank-bashing thing is so far away from traditional Conservative values.”

The anonymous survey asked the bankers which party has the best programme for financial reform, revealing a sense of unease about Mr Osborne’s inexperience. One respondent was especially concerned by a tendency “to make up policy on the hoof”.

Particular scorn was reserved for the Conservative’s plan to scrap the Financial Services Authority and hand regulatory control to the Bank of England – and Mr Osborne’s hard line on bonuses.

One of Mr Osborne’s advisers, Sir James Sassoon insisted the shadow chancellor was up to the job.

He said: “Look at the strength of the team of shadow ministers and economists George has put together and worked with for the past four years – a far more able and balanced team than anything we have had in the Treasury in the past decade.”

The survey showed universal praise for Mr Darling, with one saying he “moves fast and he’s got integrity. I’ve seen him in battle and he’s very impressive.”

The survey indicated bankers would be happier with Ken Clarke or William Hague as chancellor.