\”Bring Bank of Scotland home to boost competition in high street\’ urges Cable\” – Scotsman

BANK of Scotland needs to be "brought home" as part of a break-up of Britain\’s gigantic financial institutions, a leading politician said last night.

Liberal Democrat Treasury spokesman Vince Cable made the demand in a keynote speech in Edinburgh.

He said that "a rethink" of the banking industry was needed after the crisis which saw leading banks, including Northern Rock, RBS and Lloyds, nationalised or bailed out by the government.

With the polls predicting a close election, Mr Cable is being touted as a possible Treasury minister or Cabinet minister in a coalition government.

His comments followed support by the Lib Dems in 2008 for The Scotsman\’s campaign which questioned the takeover of Bank of Scotland parent HBOS by Lloyds, which was forced through by the government.

"We have to break up the banks, in particular the vast Lloyds group, and bring the Bank of Scotland home," Mr Cable told an audience at a dinner organised by the right-of-centre think tank Reform Scotland.

"This would not only help protect us from the threat of banks that are too big to fail, it would also increase diversity in Scotland\’s financial sector and competition on the high street."