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Britain delivers 'break-up' warning to banks

Published on Feb 4, 2013 9:34 PM
 
Britain's Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne speaks at JP Morgan in Bournemouth, southern England on Feb 4, 2013. Britain's banks will be broken up if they fail to ring-fence retail operations from their investment divisions to avoid any future state bailouts of lenders, finance minister George Osborne warned on Monday. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

LONDON (AFP) - Britain's banks will be broken up if they fail to ring-fence retail operations from their investment divisions to avoid any future state bailouts of lenders, finance minister George Osborne warned on Monday.

As the government formally published legislation aimed at radically altering the landscape of Britain's financial sector, Chancellor of the Exchequer Osborne used a speech to say that "2013 is the year when we re-set our banking system".

Addressing staff at US investment banking giant JP Morgan in Bournemouth, southern England, he said: "My message to the banks is clear: if a bank flouts the rules, the regulator and the Treasury will have the power to break it up altogether - full separation, not just a ring fence."

Mr Osborne said: "In the jargon, we will electrify the ring fence." He added that the Bank of England would be "the super cop" of Britain's financial system going forward.

 
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