Government ‘must force banks to lower rates’

Consumer watchdog Which? has called on the government to force banks that have been bailed out by taxpayers’ money to “immediately” pass on the Bank of England’s base rate cut to customers.

The body has written to chancellor Alistair Darling to demand the measure, claiming that lenders must give debt help to the public whose money has been used to save them from going under.

In a survey by the organisation, 67 per cent of respondents revealed that they blame banks for the current economic crisis and 81 per cent want an overhaul of the banking system.

Furthermore, 73 per cent stated that they feel they have been the victims of irresponsible lending.

Which? chief executive, Peter Vicary-Smith, said of the banks: “It’s time for them to deal sympathetically and fairly with the plight of ordinary consumers, many of whom are anxious about their savings or struggling with their mortgage.”

Recently Darren Cook, a spokesman for Moneyfacts, also urged lenders to pass on lower costs to borrowers.

By Jamie Price

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