Tim Linacre, CEO of Panmure Gordon, Oliver Hemsley, boss over at Numis, and Alex Snow, chairman of Evolution, have written a joint letter to City Minister Lord Myners, complaining that bailed-out UK banks are forcing clients to use their own investment banking services as the price of continuing financial support.
Here's the letter:
'Dear Lord Myners
Re: Taxpayer-supported banks and competition
It is becoming increasingly apparent that anti-competitive behaviour is arising in UK investment banking. Taypayer supporting banks are requiring their indebted corporate clients to use their corporate finance and equity capital market services as a pre-condition for continuing their lending support.
Independent banks and brokers who have survived the 'financial tsunami' without recourse to the tax payer, should not be placed at a competitive disadvantage to those banks whom have been bailed out. The behaviour of tax payer funded banks is stifling competition in the capital markets. This is a critical issue for UK corporates and their shareholders, who employ millions of people in the private sector and for London's reputation as a leading international financial centre.
The Government should ensure that state-backed banks can only win investment banking business on their merits rather than on the basis of taxpayer funded balance sheets and 'corporate bullying'.'
Lord Myners has said that he is taking the allegations 'extremely seriously', and will be investigating the matter.