Replacing Kingman & the future of UKFI
So now that John Kingman has quit as head of UKFI, the body looking after our interests in the nationalised banks, the question turns to ‘who will replace him?’
The FT says:
Treasury insiders expect Mr Kingman to be replaced in the autumn by a senior banker or hedge fund manager.
Please no. Pretty please. If the Treasury is determined to get someone with private sector experience, and I can see the reasoning, why can’t we have an executive from a non-financial firm? You know, someone that understands about the real economy?
More generally we need to have a proper think about the role of UKFI. Should it’s mandate be to simply act as a custodian of our stake, aiming to off load them at a profit? Or should they be actively used as a tool of a new industrial policy? I favour the second option.
I don’t want RBS, Northern Rock et al used to ‘get the housing market going again’, I want to see them lending to firms with decent prospects. I want to see them providing finance to green technology start ups. They can play a role in rebalancing our economy.
The latest BOE figures show that, in June, lending to households rose 2.6% (year on year), lending to financial companies rose a staggering 34.6%, whilst lending to non-financial companies fell by 1.2%.
This has to be reversed.