In Depth

Ten years on: The financial crisis in numbers

How Britain's banking crash and the policy response to it have changed the economy

On 9 August 2007 the French investment banking giant BNP Paribas "barred investors from accessing money in funds with subprime mortgage exposure", says the Financial Times.

BNP cited a "complete evaporation of liquidity", hinting at a "credit crunch" that was to spread across the global banking sector. "The date… is pegged by many as the moment the financial crisis began".

In September 2008, just over a year later, Lehman Brothers filed for bankruptcy, sending the global banking sector into complete meltdown.

By October 2008 the British government had announced a package of loans and guarantees to shore up its own teetering financial system. This was worth a total of up to £500bn.

The world – and the UK economy – would not be the same again.

Here's a statistical breakdown of the fallout from the crisis and its repercussions over the past ten years that shows how the crash has reshaped the UK economy.


The total – around £115bn in today's money – that global banking groups have paid out in the US in fines relating to the financial crisis, according to the FT.

Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) is still awaiting news of its fine for mortgage bond mis-selling from the US Department of Justice and Barclays is challenging its own lawsuit, so that figure is only likely to rise.

The Independent says that banks globally have paid $321bn (£262bn) in fines since 2008 in relation not just to the financial crisis but also to past misconduct. This includes market manipulation and money laundering failings.


The eventual cost of bailing out the UK banking industry in 2008 and 2009, says the FT.

With RBS still mostly in government hands and worth less than half what it was back then, the UK government's forecaster, the Office for Budget Responsibility, reckons that total losses on that investment could reach £27bn.


So-called "tier 1" core capital reserves – the cash held back to shore up the balance sheet in the event of a downturn that causes loan defaults – that UK banks held on average in 2006, says What Investment


Tier 1 capital held across the UK banking sector now, according to Bank of England figures. The change has been driven by regulation and implies a far higher cost of capital for banks to lend.


The total profit – worth £23bn – made by US banking groups in the second quarter, says Bloomberg. The figure is "just a few hundred million short of the record in the second quarter of 2007".

Inflation means that in "real" terms the profit is worth much less now. Bloomberg says that the rate of return on assets for US banks is down by 35 per cent since 2007, partly because of the higher cost of capital.

UK banks have fared less well with profits across the sector down by 65 per cent over the past decade, says the FT. RBS looks set to record a tenth consecutive year of losses.


Tax take for the UK exchequer from the financial services sector last year, says the BBC

This shows the continuing reliance of the UK economy on its financial services sector, especially banking which accounts for £34.2bn of the total and is one of few industries with a trade surplus.

121 months

The time elapsed – it translates to ten years and one month – since the Bank of England last raised interest rates. It was July 2007, just before the crash hit.

Some 101 months ago, the base rate hit a record low of 0.5 per cent. It remained there until last August when a new all-time low of 0.25 per cent was set as the central bank sought to counter an expected Brexit slowdown.

In the US, rates have been increased a few times since December 2015 but they remain very low by historical standards.


The amount in real terms (after the effects of inflation) that savers have earned from a hypothetical £1,000 placed in a savings account a decade ago, according to Hargreaves Lansdown

Yes, because of ultra-low rates they've lost money.


The return over the same period, again after inflation, from £1,000 invested in the stock market.

Stock markets are riding high in their eighth year of a bull market. Experts reckon this is being driven by people investing money they would have otherwise held in cash if savings rates weren't so pitiful.

Despite frequent predictions that uncertainty will cause a correction, markets in the UK and US remain near all-time highs.


The average house price in London, according to a Savills report

House prices in several key local markets have surged in recent years to record highs. Again this is in large part thanks to an explosion in the number of investment buyers who are finding more profitable uses for cash.

Not all markets are doing well. Areas like Newcastle and Liverpool have yet to recover their pre-crash peaks.

Average house prices across the UK are still near record highs and well above £200,000. Tougher lending rules mean buyers need to put down 85 per cent more cash up front than back in 2009.

All this has made life tougher for first-time buyers.

210 years

The last time Britons faced a worst wage squeeze than they are in right now. Pay is still worse on average (once inflation has been deducted) than it was before the financial crisis.

According to the Resolution Foundation think-tank, the period between 2010 and 2020 will be the worst period since the Napoleonic wars. The Institute for Fiscal Studies says real pay may not pass the pre-crisis peak until 2022.

There are other reasons for this, not least the polarisation in the workplace that's part of the inexorable process of globalisation. But the wage squeeze is also a reflection of productivity and growth failing to recover fully from the crash.


Household "unsecured" debt – borrowing that isn't secured against an asset like a car, personal loans or credit card spending – as of this June, says the Guardian

It's the first time unsecured lending has been this high since 2007. Things are much safer than they were, not least because banks have bigger reserves, but the size of the debt means some commentators are worried about a new financial crash.


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