Yes They Will...... Oh No We Won't !

  oresome 20:17 26 Nov 2007

Following the loss of a couple of data disks which you may have heard about, the Government said not to worry as the banks would recompense anyone who lost money as a result of subsequent fraudulent activity.

Very generous of them!

The banks are now making it clear that whilst they will be the first point of contact for any customers who suffer such activity, they will expect the Government to foot the final bill. After all, they have a few problems of their own to sort out!

Of course, the Government don't actually have any money of their own. I wonder who will finsh up footing the bill?

  jack 20:27 26 Nov 2007

We will- no matter how it is looked at as a taxpayer and we all pay tax even if it is only as VAT as opposed to Income we pay- every time- there is no one else.
Which is why I was a bit miffed with governments action in the Nothern Rock debacle.
Why should you me and all other[joke is including NR members] pay through our taxes to pick up some elses gambling losses- for that is exactly what it is.

HMM me thinks I slap a couple of 'G's on the Grand National- The gorvernment will pick up the tab if I lose -------wont they? ;-}

  ventanas 09:10 27 Nov 2007

Exactly, the attitude of RAB is, in my view disgusting. They as investors are fully aware that the value of shares can go either way, and to threaten to block any sale in which the make a loss (which is what they really mean) should not be tolerated. Perhaps NR should be nationalised with no compensation to shareholders, if only out of spite.

How long do these people think they can lean on the taxpayer.

  laurie53 09:13 27 Nov 2007

As long as we, the taxpayers, keep electing governments who are sympathetic to big business.

  johndrew 09:50 27 Nov 2007

Government has only one major source of funds and that is us. `Us` is not only individuals but businesses as well. Being `sympathetic` to big business is not unreasonable up to a point, but to bail out businesses that are either unable to formulate a sustainable plan or are simply so greedy as to be incompetent is not on.

When Rolls-Royce went down in 1971, as a result of their stupidity in considering development a tangible asset, it was necessary to bail them out on the basis of national security - they made pretty well all the engines for our military aircraft. The company was also, effectively, nationalised.

To do the same for a bank seems a bit extreme. But then it is based in the north-east and the Chancellor has an account with them so .........

  spuds 13:29 27 Nov 2007

I could be wrong here. But isn't the likes of finance houses (excluding governmental) run as commercial enterprises with directors et al?.

Northern Rock, Lloyds etc were/are very quick in requesting and expecting financial public help when things get a little tight. Pity this same generosity is not extended to the just as much needy.

  Wilham 17:17 27 Nov 2007

I am surprised the NR shareholders expect any return. A Virgin take-over could save them getting a bill.

When a company is wound up each shareholder is liable in law to compensate creditors up to the nominal holding of the shares held.

When I first dabbled in shares in early 1950's I was puzzled why shares were called shilling shares, yet I was paying pounds for them. I discovered it was not so much history, more the deliberate limiting of shareholders' commitments. In practice, to attempt extracting of a large number of small sums from a large number of people likely would be uneconomic.

I don't accept this part of johndrew's posting:
"When Rolls-Royce went down in 1971, as a result of their stupidity in considering development a tangible asset,..." In 1955 I asked my bank manager to buy me shares in RR. It was Martin's Bank, superb in every way customerwise, and soon to be gobbled up by Barclays (after which I dealt directly through brokers).
I found there were no shareholders in RR, only stockholders. Further, the bank could only buy stock on my behalf if I were British, and also I would have to undertake not to part with RR stock to anyone other than British. Phew!...I went ahead and bought. So there weren't large numbers holding trivial shares, and it was all British. I haven't seen this published anywhere.

It was a shock to me when RR went to the wall. It wasn't through stupidity. Carbon fibre was the new wonder material. For 18 months, research went well to replace the compressor blades on the front turbo. Before, I had been over the factory at Derby and seen the earlier blades stamped/forged into shape. (I still have two on my mantlepiece).
Failure came when the new blades couldn't cope with heavy rain. No stupidity. A disappointment?...Oh yes.

RR was reformed. I turned down options in the new company and I received compensatory cheques over several years. It was the end of all-British Rolls Royce.

  wee eddie 17:55 27 Nov 2007

The Limited in a Companies Name (plc or Public Limited Company) refers to the limited liability of the Shareholders

  oresome 18:06 27 Nov 2007

I expect that most small shareholders, many of whom will have acquired their shares when the former building society changed to a bank, will have considered their investment as solid as a rock.

After all, banks were considered staid institutions with solid buildings that had stood in the same spot for years and had a very conservative approach to business risks.

  spuds 19:11 27 Nov 2007

That was before mergers and take-overs. Nothing sure nowadays, especially when big finance is involved.

Remember the Big Crash and Years of the Depression in the USA. History might repeat itself perhaps?.

  Forum Editor 19:37 27 Nov 2007

What's wrong with a government being sympathetic towards big businesses?

Businesses are owned by shareholders, and they are often ordinary people, as are the people who work for the businesses, and the people who work for the businesses which supply the businesses - we're all dependent on commercial organisations in one way or another, and we should have an interest in their prosperity. They're what makes our nation wealthy.

Businesses pay vast amounts of tax - without which a lot of our social services would be in dire trouble.

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