October 11, 2013 11:37 pm

Don’t forget the savers, Mr Carney

From Mr Simon Healy.

Sir, It is now 100 days since Mark Carney took up his governorship at the Bank of England. While it may be perhaps a slightly crude timeframe to assess his work to date, many in the financial services industry, not only in the City of London, welcome the start he has made and the impact it may prove to have in the coming years.

On a recent trip to Leeds, Mr Carney spoke about the need for our banking system to evolve away from the centre of London with a push towards a more regional model that will generate balanced growth. This is a sensible idea and an approach I welcome; yet, perhaps out of all his comments, his case for implementing a lending model that is more rational and allows banks to make their own credit decisions will go the furthest. How many thousands of small businesses or potential housebuyers have been denied a loan due to complex algorithms or mathematical models saying they are not creditworthy? As I have seen in my role, perfectly solvent and creditworthy customers have been denied a loan due to an unpaid mobile phone bill from their student days. We need a model that looks beyond what the computer says.

Many small and medium-sized enterprises I have spoken to also welcome his forward guidance and the stability this will bring in planning for the coming years. However, I would add that its implementation risks harming any sort of savings culture that currently exists in the UK. A long-term low base rate is making life much easier for borrowers, yet financial planning is becoming considerably difficult for those on fixed-term incomes or looking to put money away.

In his first 100 days, Mr Carney has identified where the immediate challenges lie but he must be certain not to neglect the millions of savers that are affected by his decisions in the long run.

Simon Healy, Managing Director for Savings, Aldermore Bank, UK

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