HC Deb 01 April 1969 vol 781 cc225-6
33. Mr. Bruce-Gardyne

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will introduce legislation to require joint stock banks to compete amongst each other in the rates of interest they offer to their customers.

Mr. Harold Lever

I have nothing to add to the Answer which I gave to the hon. Member for Meriden (Mr. Speed) on 4th March.—[Vol. 779, c. 65.]

Mr. Bruce-Gardyne

Does the Financial Secretary recall that the Prices and Incomes Board recommended a measure of this kind almost two years ago? Although the Prices and Incomes Board has produced a great deal of fatuity, occasionally it offers a glimpse of the obvious. Would it not help the Government in their control of credit by enabling market forces to control the rates of interest and the price charged to borrowers both in the public and in the private sectors?

Mr. Lever

If the hon. Member will refer to the Answer which I gave to the hon. Member for Meriden, which in turn referred him to the statement by the President of the Board of Trade, he will see that this matter is under review.

Mr. Paget

Is not the position that with inflation running as it is, the demand for bank credit is enormously larger than supply whatever is the interest rate?

Mr. Lever

That is another and larger question.