But on the plus side we lead the world at banking - oh hang on
Sadly, we're no longer able to make even that claim. The regulators, once woken from their slumber, have been rather overzealous compared to their counterparts abroad, with the result that there are no longer any universal investment banks within the EU.
It is important to understand that the bailouts were of retail mortgage banks, not of investment banks - Northern Rock, RBS, HBoS, B&B - all got in trouble by borrowing short term in the money markets and lending long term to borrowers who perhaps should not have been borrowing as much as they were. None are investment banks.
Yes, Lehmans did manage to bust themselves, but that was by following the play book above: the unwinding of the company has led to all creditors being paid in full, and a surplus remainder that the liquidator and courts must determine ownership of.
All full service global investment banks are once again American. That won't bode well for Europe in the next financial crash as they withdraw their capital to their home markets per their regulators demands.
I know banks and bankers aren't popular, and that some will celebrate their curtailment, but ultimately the tax situation as it stands today breaks down like this: No banks, no NHS. Corporations may be finessing their tax base, but the people working for them cannot so easily, and make up a significant percentage of the net tax payers (only those earning over the upper threshold for most of their careers are actually net tax payers).
I expect that I'll be on my own around these left leaning parts, but I for one lament the demise of another industry in which we once led the world, for it is not readily clear yet who will make up the missing tax contribution once the staff of the banks have gone, and without that, there will be no universal healthcare because we simply can't afford it.