June 07, 2012

The “risky” borrowers should also complain about discriminatory bank regulations

Sir, Shahien Nasiripour and Tracy Alloway report on the concerns of some large US banks with respect to some new capital rules because these “will hurt them relative to overseas competitors” “Fed set to announce capital proposals”, June 7. 

These banks are of course in the perfect right to object any sort of discrimination, but, when will the Financial Times dedicate one single analysis to the discrimination that many borrowers are subjected to, when their bank borrowings give cause for a higher capital requirement than the borrowing of others? 

Does FT really think that a loan to a small business or an entrepreneur, he who already has to pay a higher interest rate and can only access a smaller loan than those who have officially been declared as “not risky” is correct, and does not create distortions? 

If you only report the complaints of the big banks… you are assisting them in becoming too big. 

If FT had complained in time about the fact that a UK bank was required to have 8 percent in capital lending to the grocery down the corner but only 1.6 percent if lending to Greece then perhaps we would not be in the current mess. Who knows? 

The article also reminds us that Jamie Dimon, chief executive of JPMorgan Chase, has decried the new Basel III rules as “anti American”, or un-American as it is usually expressed. But, again, that begs the question, if the American banks, according to Basel II and III, need to hold more capital when lending to American small businesses or entrepreneurs than when lending to foreign sovereigns or corporations deemed as not risky, is that not equally anti American?