Stat of the day: £46bn

The amount banks receive in taxpayer subsidies.

Last Updated: 09 Oct 2013
Bankers’ bonuses may have come under the spotlight since the financial crisis started, but banks themselves seem to be getting bigger bonuses than we could possibly have imagined, too. 

According to research by the New Economics Foundation, high street banks are given a taxpayer ‘subsidy’ of £46bn a year. Apparently, Barclays alone was given a £10bn subsidy last year, while Lloyds received a boost of almost £15bn. Although when the NEF says ‘subsidy’, what it means is that creditors lend banks money more cheaply, because the expectation is that if the banks fail, the Government will always wade in to pay off their debts. So it’s all less risky.

Still – the NEF isn’t impressed. ‘Banks are still in the casino with our cash and the tables are fixed in their favour,’ Toby Greenham, a spokesperson said. Here’s hoping they end up in black, rather than the red…

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