The Independent Commission on Banking - the evidence of Richard A Werner

Mr D Smith made this Freedom of Information request to Her Majesty's Treasury

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Waiting for an internal review by Her Majesty's Treasury of their handling of this request.

Dear Her Majesty’s Treasury,
I was informed by the secretariat of the Independent Commission on Banking that at the end of its lifetime its material would move move to HM Treasury and then be subject to the Freedom of Information Act.

Could you please tell me whether that has now happened? If so I have some questions:

Richard A Werner, Professor of banking at the University of Southampton submitted evidence to the Commission in response to the Issues paper. I am mystified that, although this evidence was published by the commission, it was not referred to in either the Interim or Final Reports. Could you therefore tell me:

a. Is there any evidence that the secretariat called the attention of members of the commission to this evidence?
b. Did any draft version of either the interim report or the final report make any reference to Werner's evidence?
c. Were any written criteria set as to what evidence should have been selected for consideration, and if so, can I please see a copy?

Yours faithfully

D Smith (Mr)

Enquiries, CEU - HMT, Her Majesty's Treasury

Dear Mr Smith,

Thank you for your Freedom of Information request. I write to confirm receipt of your request and to let you know that it is receiving attention. If you have any enquiries regarding your request do not hesitate to contact us.

Jhenene Simpson | Correspondence & Enquiry Unit, HM Treasury, 2/W1, 1 Horse Guards Road, London, SW1A 2HQ |

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responses, FOI - HMT, Her Majesty's Treasury

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Dear Mr Smith

Please find attached response to your FoI request.



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Dear Her Majesty’s Treasury,

Please pass this on to the person who conducts Freedom of Information reviews.

I am writing to request an internal review of Her Majesty’s Treasury's handling of my FOI request 'The Independent Commission on Banking - the evidence of Richard A Werner'.

Thank you for the information you have provided in good faith, but I believe it is based on a misunderstanding.

I am mystified by your reply. Prof. Werner summarised his individual submission as follows:

"These proposals are to
- impose direct regulation of the quantity and quality of bank credit
- change the structure of the banking sector in the UK to make it more similar to the
German banking sector.
The regulation of credit would take the form of restricting [to an appropriate level] bank credit creation for
transactions that are unsustainable – namely transactions that do not contribute to GDP, i.e.
the financial transactions. Furthermore, the government (or central bank) should control the
quantity of credit that banks are allowed to create, while closely monitoring the allocation (the
use credit is put to). The ‘guidance’ of the quantity and allocation of credit towards productive
purposes has been the single most important factor in the success of the ‘East Asian miracle’
economies Japan, China, Korea and Taiwan.
The reform of the banking sector would introduce a large, but currently virtually non-existing
element of locally-owned banks. These would take the two competing forms of local city-
owned banks and local credit unions (cooperative banks). In Germany, they account for about
70% of the banking sector, while in the UK currently for less than 1%. It is argued that this
banking structure has been the single most important structural reason for the performance
of the German economy, as well as other countries (such as Japan)."

It does not seem to me that either of these proposals come under the heading of 'narrow banking'. Rather the first proposes a new tool of macroprudential policy, and the 2nd, far from limiting the purposes of existing banks proposes the development of local banks more suited to supporting SMEs.

In the light of this, did the secretariat make any more explicit reference to Werner's submission?

A full history of my FOI request and all correspondence is available on the Internet at this address:

Yours faithfully,

Mr D Smith