Lib Dem conference: Simon Hughes attacks 'racist' banks

Simon Hughes attacks 'racist' bank lending

Deputy Lib Dem leader Simon Hughes says he has "seen and heard" banks making racist decisions on lending.

He said banks will "say yes to a well established white individual" but say no to a black business person "with a better financial reputation".

The London MP also said he had seen requests for finance turned down with no reason given to the applicants.

He was speaking at his party's annual conference, backing a motion calling for banks to be more transparent.

"I have seen clearly banks, and heard clearly banks, who make racist decisions," said the MP for Bermondsey and Old Southwark.

"They will say yes to a well established white individual who's been in the community, but somebody with a better financial reputation who comes to them from the minority communities or is a black business person gets turned down."

Mr Hughes said that in recent years banks had failed the country, "tarnished the reputation of Britain" and failed to help local economies grow.

He said new rules were needed to force banks to publish details of requests for funding and the reasons behind the decisions they take.

This would help make them accountable to their community as well as accountable nationally.

This was one of the measures needed to return British banking to the "respectable profession" his careers teacher had told him about during his school days, he added.

More on This Story

More UK Politics stories


Features & Analysis

  • French luxury Tea House, Mariage Freres display of tea pots Tea for tu

    France falls back in love with tea - but don't expect a British cuppa

  • Woman in swimming pool Green stuff

    The element that makes a familiar smell when mixed with urine

  • People take part in an egg-cracking contest in the village of Mokrin, 120km (75 miles) north of Belgrade, Serbia on 20 April 2014In pictures

    Images from around the world as Christians mark Easter Sunday

  • Female model's bottom in leopard skin trousers as she walks up the catwalkBum deal

    Why budget buttock ops can be bad for your health

Elsewhere on the BBC

  • ITChild's play

    It's never been easier for small businesses to get their message out to the world


  • An aerial shot shows the Olympic Stadium, which is closed for repair works on its roof, in Rio de Janeiro March 28, 2014.Extra Time Watch

    Will Rio be ready in time to host the Olympics in 2016? The IOC president gives his verdict

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.