The Bankwatch

Tracking the consumer evolution of financial services

Conservatives propose radical changes to banking regulation in UK

There are some dramatic proposals contained in the upcoming white paper from the Conservatrive opposition [UK] this week. They make sense and go to the core of the flexibility that allowed banks to become too speculative. They address leverage, and the investment banking/ retail banking integration challenge. The Conservatives are larely expected to win the next election, sometime in the next 12 months.

Tories say break up the big banks | The Times

He will be clear, however, that the Bank should have powers to order banks and other financial institutions to hold more capital when times are good, so that they are well-placed to cope with the losses that arise during downturns.

These counter-cyclical capital requirements, one version of which was the so-called dynamic provisioning used for Spain’s banks, are seen by Mervyn King, the Bank governor, as an essential part of the “macro-prudential” toolkit.

The most controversial part of Osborne’s proposals, however, will be his response to the “too big to fail” problem for banks. He is expected to back King’s view, set out last month, that large and complex banks that combine retail banking with risky investment banking, should either not have their deposits guaranteed by the taxpayer or be discouraged by even larger capital requirements.

Osborne will make clear that he believes some banks were allowed to become too big. He will give the Bank the powers to intervene – and, if necessary, break up – banks whose size and structure threatens financial stability.

Written by Colin Henderson

July 19, 2009 at 00:32

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