The term “Warring Bankers” found prominence in a series of court battles Finian Manson had in the 1990s. Aggrieved at treatment by Bankers he deployed the phrase in his statement of case. Manson was likely a fan of the spoonerism. Nowadays, banking is far from boring and the leading bankers themselves are supposedly under the spotlight. Vince Cable is losing patience with the greed of the big banks and even the Wall Street Journal headlines “UK Banks Profits on Mortgages spur Criticism.” Our US cousins ask how can it be that a UK borrower will pay typically 3.4% for a variable rate mortgage when your average Swede is paying 1.5% despite the fact reference rates in the two countries are similar? You can draw your own conclusions. The relevance for housing? We’ve said it before - until the cost of credit decreases and, above all, the availability increases then the current dysfunctional housing market will continue. Maybe it’s time for the government to outflank the Banks and encourage alternative sources of mortgage funding.
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