Investment Banks

Mr Peter Hain (Neath) (Lab): Why, instead of coming out with the usual Government flannel, does the Secretary of State not admit that, according to the House of Commons Library, net bank lending—that is, new loans minus repayments—to small and medium-sized enterprises in Wales has been negative over the last two years? Since the third quarter of 2011, small businesses in Wales have paid back to the banks £148 million more than they have been able to borrow, and medium-sized businesses have paid back £186 million more than they have been lent. The truth is that the banking system in Wales is broken, and the Secretary of State is doing nothing about it.

Mr Jones: On the contrary, as my hon. Friend the Member for Hexham (Guy Opperman) has just pointed out, the Financial Services (Banking Reform) Act has put a great deal more power into the hands of customers. It has also done a great deal to repair the damage that was done under the last Labour Administration.