The Earl of Caithness on banking

Bankers have always seen it as their job to invest as much of their depositors’ money as they prudently can, in order to earn income for themselves while, at the same time, maintaining sufficient cash flow to be able to honour depositors’ cheques when presented and to meet withdrawals when demanded. If new deposits fail to materialise in sufficient strength or if borrowers fail to repay on time or at all, banks need to be rescued or they will fail. Historically, bank failures then led to a demand for central banks to act as lenders of last resort to save imprudent bankers who got caught short.

Banks must not be allowed to continue to lend depositors’ money without the consent of the depositor. This will immediately stop the issuance of two receipts against the same money. Depositors would have to pay for the storage and distribution of their money in accounts and banks would have to compete and earn their income through storage and distribution charges.

via My Lords, the Banking Bill which we…: 5 Feb 2009: House of Lords debates (

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