Chancellor Alistair Darling has said he is “extremely concerned” that banks may be charging interest on loans to small firms at rates required to generate a reasonable rate of return, despite him being nice to them.
The Chancellor said that the banks were not helping small businesses by refusing to pass on the low interest rates currently in place like good little corporate citizens.
“This is simply not cricket,” said Darling.
“We were really, really nice to them, and we thought they’d be nice to everyone else in return, like in that film Pay It Forward with that kid out of the Sixth Sense.”
“I figured some of the banks would be out feeding the homeless by now, or at least looking to move their organisations into a charitable status.”
“Instead, they seem hell-bent on maximising profits for their shareholders by making lending decisions based on conditions in a competitive free-market economy.”
When asked for a comment, the chief executive of the British Bankers Association Angela Knight expressed surprise at the Chancellor’s reaction.
“He was surprised none of us had opted for charitable status?”
“Well, how much is that worth exactly? Are the tax breaks for charities any good?”
“Look, we will start lending cheaply to small businesses just as soon we’re not absolutely convinced everyone we lend to is on the verge of going bankrupt.”
“How about that?”