UK banks 'unlikely to move abroad'

24 May 2011

Banks in the UK are unlikely to move abroad in response to the Independent Commission on Banking's (ICB's) proposed reforms for the industry, it has been claimed.

ICB member Bill Winters admitted to parliament's Treasury Select Committee that such action is possible, but inferred he does not expect it to happen, based on the package of recommendations from the group, Reuters reports.

The news agency noted the ICB proposed in April that the top lenders in Britain ring-fence their retail operations away from investment banking activities that could prove to be riskier.

It also suggested institutions bolster their capital levels in an effort to protect taxpayers from any crises that may happen in the future.

There has been a lingering feeling that banks may head overseas if regulation in the UK becomes too stringent, the source added.

Sky News recently reported that a number of UK banks have failed to meet the lending targets to businesses in the first quarter of 2011 that were outlined in the Project Merlin agreement.

By Asim Shah

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