UK finance minister Hunt to quiz bank bosses on UK lending

London: Britain’s finance minister Jeremy Hunt will meet the bosses of top British banks next Tuesday to seek reassurance they can keep lending to the economy, four sources familiar with the matter said on Thursday.

HSBC (HSBA.L), opens new tab, Barclays (BARC.L), opens new tab, Lloyds Banking Group (LLOY.L), opens new tab, NatWest Group (NWG.L), opens new tab and Santander UK (SANS_pa.L), opens new tab are expected to take part in the meeting, Sky News reported earlier.

“They meet regularly and discuss lots of issues – as you’d expect,” one of the sources said.

“They’re fairly relaxed and unstructured meetings.”

In a bid to bolster London’s competitiveness as a global financial centre post-Brexit, the Treasury has set out a series of reforms and is regularly meeting with members of the financial industry to gauge effectiveness of those plans, one source with direct knowledge said.

Sky News said the meeting will also include the London Stock Exchange (LSEG.L), opens new tab as it battles against New York to attract company listings.

Further reforms to boost investment are expected from Hunt when he presents his budget in March, and the government typically sounds out market participants ahead of such events.

Sky said Tuesday’s meeting would discuss concerns over the valuations of some banks, which have seen their share prices retreat in recent months.

Barclays shares, for example, have lost around 22% in value in the last 12 months, compared with a 8.5% drop in the FTSE 350 banking index (.FTNMX301010)