UK banks have paid out more than £50bn in fines and lawsuits over the past 15 years

Britain's retail banks and consumer-owned lenders have paid out £53bn ($75bn, €66bn) in fines and lawsuits over the past 15 years, a new study has found. This meant that £1 in every £4 of pre-tax profits earned by the banks had been paid out in redress and associated administrative costs.

The research, conducted by independent think tank New City Agenda, found the amount of fines and litigation costs banks have had to pay has limited the amount they are able to lend and has also reduced dividend payouts. The misdeeds covered a wide range of products and practice, but the common root causes were generally poor quality products, inappropriate staff bonus schemes and an aggressive sales-based culture. "The profitability of UK retail banks has been imperilled by persistent misconduct," said John McFall, a director of New City Agenda and former Treasury Committee chairman. "This has made every citizen poorer through our pension funds and our ownership of the bailed out banks."