uk takes step closer to major bank reform
Last Updated : GMT 09:42:07
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today

UK takes step closer to major bank reform

Arab Today, arab today

Arab Today, arab today UK takes step closer to major bank reform

London - AFP

The British government on Thursday published a key document outlining plans for costly structural reforms of Britain\'s banks in a bid to help avoid a repeat of the 2008 financial crisis. \"The government has today published a White Paper setting out proposals to fundamentally reform the structure of banking in the UK,\" the Treasury said in a statement. The document, which precedes an act of legislation, is open to consultation until September 6, it added. The Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition had already announced last year that it would support the recommendations of the Independent Commission on Banking, chaired by ex-Bank of England chief economist John Vickers. Central to the changes are plans to \"ring-fence\" the retail operations of lenders such as HSBC, Barclays and state-rescued Royal Bank of Scotland and to require them to hike their capital reserves -- all by 2019. \"We are fundamentally reforming the structure of our banking sector,\" finance minister George Osborne was to say in a speech to financial bosses due to be delivered late in London on Thursday. \"High-street banking will be ring-fenced so that taxpayers are better protected when things go wrong. We will be able to bail in creditors when a bank fails rather than turning to the public purse,\" Chancellor of the Exchequer Osborne was to say during his annual \"Mansion House\" address. Britain\'s banks were facing radical change to avoid a repeat of the massive state bailouts of lenders, including also Lloyds Banking Group, in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis. According to the White Paper, British banks should increase their capital buffers above levels decided under the international Basel III agreement. Vickers last year estimated that the annual pre-tax cost to lenders of the reforms would total between £4.0 billion and £7.0 billion a year. Analysts said the higher charges risked being passed on to clients.

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