§ Mr. Stainton
asked the Secretary of State for Industry whether he will make a statement about the financial objective for the National Girobank.
§ Mr. Kenneth Baker
The existing target expired on 31 March 1982. A new objective has been agreed with the Post Office to run from 1 April 1982 until 31 March 1985. During this period the National Girobank's target will be to make an average return, before interest on long term loans from the Secretary of State, of 19 per cent. per annum on mean net assets on an historic cost basis.
I believe that this will provide a sufficiently demanding objective for the business, which will at the same time enable it to pursue a policy of prudent expansion, thereby enhancing competition in the banking sector.