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Independent Commission to consider breaking up big banks

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by Kay Mitchell

In a further massive shake-up of the UK’s banking industry, the Independent Commission on Banking (ICB) is looking at ways to increase competition and choice among high street banks.

One option could see existing banking giants broken up and new names enter the industry.

The ICB, which is headed by Sir John Vickers, was established in June to look at competition and financial stability.

However, should the Commission recommend splitting up the big banks, HSBC has already suggested it would consider moving its UK headquarters.

Standard Chartered last week said it was looking to free itself from stricter regulations in Britain by considering relocating to the Far East.

Meanwhile, in terms of stepping up competition in the UK’s banking sector, Metro Bank became Britain’s first new high street lender for more than a century in July.

Furthermore, NBNK plans to compete with other High Street banks and recently raised £50 million via a share issue.

Virgin Money recently acquired a banking licence, in a move set to change the UK’s banking industry.

These new banks have pledged to return to core banking values and look to take advantage of the lack of confidence in existing banks, which are still trying to rebuild their reputations after the financial crisis.

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News posted: September 24, 2010

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