§ Q9. Mr. Gunnell
To ask the Prime Minister if he will list his official engagements for Tuesday 2 February.
§ Mr. Gunnell
The Prime Minister will have noted that each time that his Chancellor lowers interest rates, the banks and building societies pass on a lower percentage to their customers and, therefore, increase their margins. What does the Prime Minister plan to do about that? Is it that his relationship with the banks is not cosy enough, or is it too cosy?
§ The Prime Minister
As far as the building societies and many of the banks are concerned, the hon. Gentleman is not accurate about the reduction in interest rates during the past few months. There has been concern about whether sufficient of the interest rate reductions have been passed on and my right hon. Friend the Chancellor has been in touch with the Governor of the Bank of England and with the chairmen of the main banks in the United Kingdom. I think that the hon. Gentleman is aware of that dialogue.