» Monday, December 8, 2008


Asked if there was any concern about the British car industry, the PMS said that Lord Mandelson had met with representatives of the car industry recently where they put forward a number of proposals. The Government was studying these proposals and stood ready to assist the industry as appropriate.

Asked if the Prime Minister had a view on the disruption at Stansted Airport this morning, the PMS said that everybody had a right to protest, but people also had a right to travel without unnecessary hindrance.

Put that there were contradictions in Government banking policy in terms of wanting banks to capitalise but also wanting them to lend more, the PMS said that we wanted to see stronger banks performing their function. We had to take action in order to recapitalise the banks, so as to put them on a sounder financial footing. Banks had entered into commitments to maintain the availability of lending at 2007 levels in a way that was competitively priced and marketed. We welcomed the announcements that had been made by a number of banks in recent days, in particular from HSBC.

Asked if the Prime Minister was confident that the challenge to the HBOS merger would be defeated, the PMS said that that was a matter for shareholders in the two institutions to decide. We had always been clear that we supported the merger between Lloyds and HBOS and we had taken action in order to amend competition law so as to facilitate the merger. The Government s view was that this was in the wider interest of financial stability, which was the overriding concern.

original source.

Briefing took place at 11:00 | Search for related news

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