The Liberal Party views with much concern media reports that both the RBS and Natwest bank are warning business and commercial customers of the possibility of them being charged negative interest rates.
This would in effect charge these businesses, reported to between 1 and 1.3 million, for holding money in their accounts, as well as an undisclosed number of charities and community groups.
This move is being prompted by the potential cut of domestic interest rates to zero, leaving banks to fund the cost of borrowing and their own businesses, whilst receiving no interest on loans.
The Liberal Party understands the economic reasoning behind this move, but this simply adds further pressure to businesses struggling to survive in uncertain economic times, and re-enforces the common perception that banks are not there to help businesses thrive.
Although this move would not affect personal customers with savings or current accounts, it encourages the move towards fee based accounts, which discriminate against the poorest in our society.
The RBS and Natwest via its parent Lloyds bank are both still partly state owned, and should be challenged by the government and the general public on this counter-productive and damaging development.