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Time to scrap Funding for Lending – Teachers BS

by: James Bawa
  • 30/04/2013
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Time to scrap Funding for Lending – Teachers BS
As the new Governor of the Bank of England gets ready to take his place in the hot seat, rarely has the need for a firm guiding hand on the financial sector been so crucial.

The maple leaf will flutter over Threadneedle Street in the summer, but Mark Carney is playing his cards close to his chest about what we can expect. What his leadership means for monetary policy and the pound is still unclear.

We at Teachers Building Society have a few pressing matters we would like to see at the top of his in-tray.

With thriving retail and property markets key to growth, I’d like to see more measures to help the first-time buyer. Reforming stamp duty to replace the slab system with a graduated structure, and a higher threshold for stamp duty exemption, could be very beneficial.

Funding for Lending should now be scrapped. It’s delivered £13.8bn into the system and yet lending fell £2.4bn.

Nice idea, it’s just a shame about the implementation. We have little choice but to take part in the scheme as a business, but it’s skewing the market and at Teachers Building Society we have seen first-hand how schemes like FirstBuy have been effective in helping aspiring homeowners get their first foot on the ladder.

Finally, when he has the financial watchdog under his control, we’d like to see some carrot as well as stick. With the state of the economy it’s crucial that the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) and Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) don’t stifle sector growth with onerous regulation but encourage firms to grow and thrive.

To that end, we think it’s vital Mr Carney sets the PRA a growth target, so a fragile recovery isn’t choked off at source.

Whatever he does, we understand there are no quick fixes but with small steps, we can begin to get some balance back to our finances.

James Bawa is chief executive of the Teachers Building Society

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