There are limited choices for businesses looking for credit vital to grow, invest, and take on staff. What’s more, switching between banks can be an administrative nightmare for many companies ... Creating new banks is one way of driving up competition and choice, but on its own, it will not solve the funding gap faced by firms. The creation of a dedicated business bank would ensure that new and growing companies can access the finance they need to develop new products and services, export to new markets, and take on more staff.
Ed Miliband is right to call on banks to start serving our country, for too long it has been the other way around. But he is only halfway towards a comprehensive solution. Yes we should crack down on banks' predatory behaviour, but we need to do more. We need a fair deal for taxpayers from a sector whose vast profits and pay are effectively underwritten by the public purse.
Ed Miliband has called for a return to a form of banking where banks actually look after small businesses and individual customers, rather than trying to sell them complicated financial products that leave them out of pocket.
Labour remains sensitive about its own track record on financial regulation. The Shadow Chancellor Ed Balls described my suggestion that the regulation was toothless as "claptrap".
But the public will probably agree with much of what was said, especially about bonuses and Bob Diamond keeping his.
The Labour leader Ed Miliband is giving a speech at the Co-operative Bank in London.
He has called for "an economy based not on the short-term, fast buck, take-what-you-can culture we see too much of in our banks today. But on long-termism, patient investment, and responsibility shared by all."
"We know that there’s a lot more has to be done, and a key part of it – as Mr Miliband has been saying – is getting in more competition," he told Sky News.
He said there is already more competition in the banking sector: "Lloyds have sold off branches to the Co-op, Nationwide are getting into business lending, you’ve now got the Metro bank, Virgin Money, and we want to encourage more banks."