Examination of Witnesses (Questions 60
TUESDAY 15 MAY 2007
Q60 Chairman: Why did not the commercial
banks and the building societies think about this before, do you
Ms Hitch: It is a good question.
Mr Thomas: May I? On your previous
question, just to support what Piers said, the investment banks
who seemed supportive of it included those whose centre of gravity
is not in the UKand there are a great many. The other point
is to say that investment banks have a trade association called
LIBALondon Investment Banking Associationwho are
very supportive as well. There is no formal mechanism in the Balance
story for signing up or notyou simply go by anecdote on
how many people seem to be doing it. Why did the banks and building
societies not think about this for themselves? I do not know,
but I want to go back to my very first remark in today's meeting,
which is that the dormant asset in a bank belongs to the bank,
the dormant asset in a stockbroker belongs to the client. There
is a fundamental difference which underlies, I am sure, everything
you will have heard this morning from Grant Thornton on the accounting
Q61 Chairman: Thank you very much
for your evidence, it is very helpful to us, and I am grateful
to you for your written submissions as well.
Mr Marchant: Thank you very much.
I have also brought a stack of copies of the Balance report, which
gives the mechanism.