banking reform

UK Government White Paper on Banking Reform

On 14 June 2012, HM Treasury and the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) published a white paper on banking reform setting out the government’s proposals for implementing the key recommendations of the Independent Commission on Banking (ICB) chaired by Sir John Vickers. White Paper.

Key proposals of the White Paper are:

• Retail banking operations will be ring-fenced, with operations core to consumer and small business services separated from investment banking.

• Those ring-fenced operations will face limits on exposures to other banks – they will only be allowed to carry out tasks like facilitating other institutions’ payments and managing liquidity.

• The biggest banks will hold 17% of risk-weighted assets as primary loss-absorbing capital.

• Bail-in bonds will be used to make creditors cover some of the cost of a bank failing, without a full collapse.

• But depositors will still be protected and will have a senior claim to bondholders, as well as a legal guarantee on deposits up to £85,000.

• Banks must comply with Basel III’s 3% tier one leverage ratio.

The deadline for responses to the White Paper is 6 September 2012 with the Government due to publish a draft bill in the autumn. The Government states in the white paper that it is committed to completing all primary and secondary legislation by the end of this Parliament in May 2015. The deadline for banks to comply with all of the ICB recommendations is 2019.