Oct 22 - British finance minister George Osborne comments on the US, Eurozone, China, RBS and the UK's Royal Mail at a Thomson Reuters newsmaker event (ROUGH-CUT - no reporter narration).
ROUGH CUT - NO REPORTER NARRATION British finance minister George Osborne spoke on Tuesday at a Thomson Reuters Newsmaker event moderated by Reuters editor-at-large Harold Evans. Selected highlights. CHINA "What we want is two-way trade. We, of course, want access to the markets, we want British banks writing bonds in China, but we also want Chinese banks writing bonds in London." "(Chinese banks in Britain) will be well-regulated ... there has been some comment that this was a special deal for the Chinese. This is a deal available to other banks provided they meet the criteria (that are set out by Mark Carney and Andrew Bailey at the PRA)." BRITISH ECONOMY "I think we already see the benefits in the UK of having a clear economic plan and sticking to that economic plan." "The job is very far from done. There is a recovery under way, Britain is turning a corner, but there are plenty of risks out there. We've just been talking about the problems in the U.S., the eurozone remains still very weak and that is troubling because it's a big destination for our exports." "An improving economic situation in the UK does not automatically lead to a windfall for the public finances because we shouldn't assume that a structural deficit is solved by an improvement in GDP. It's called a structural deficit for a reason. It doesn't disappear as the economy grows: it was present going into the financial crisis, it's present coming out of the financial crisis, and so we are going to go on as a government having to take very difficult decisions to control public spending and make sure we are on top of the deficit." EU-US TRADE TALKS AND THE EUROZONE "I would hope that financial services aren't excluded from that transatlantic trade and investment partnership. In the U.S. some of the regulators are asking how can we preserve high American standards of regulations. I would say it's in everyone's interest to have high standards of regulation." "I want Britain to remain in the European Union but it has to be on a different basis. It has to be on the basis of a reformed relationship and a reformed Europe because this continent of which we're part is in danger of pricing itself out of the world economy, and Britain is not a member of the euro and the euro has changed the nature of the European Union and that needs to be reflected." "You saw with the Cypriot crisis earlier this year - incredibly difficult for Cyprus - did not lead to wider contagion and I think that gives us some confidence that the tail risk of the collapse of the euro which people felt last year has massively diminished. But that still means we should be worried about low growth." UK HOUSING MARKET "I don't think it should be a choice of credit for housing or credit for small business lending. The housing market has also been through a fall, and there has been a drought of mortgage finance for families who can't afford large deposits." RBS "If you look at Lloyds, you can see that if you get the strategy right and you instill some market confidence and the government can start to exit from the banks, there is an encouraging path there for RBS. We've got to make a decision but I'm not going to give you any hint how it will go ... We are looking at that at present, and I expect a decision in the next couple of weeks."