A Volcker rule for the UK?

30 Oct

Disagreements over bank ring fencing

It appears that not everybody is happy with the Vickers proposals to ring fence retail banking operations from the “casino” operations of investment banking. Paul Volcker criticised the approach to the UK Banking Standards Committee, and last night John Kay weighed in with his views, commenting, according to the FT, that “it would be very difficult to do this”. Not surprisingly, Volcker prefers his own per se ban on proprietary trading, while John Kay’s own views on (very narrow) banking have already been published.

In the (unlikely) event that the UK were to switch from ringfencing to a Volcker rule, we would be aligning ourselves with the US approach rather than the Europeans, who, under the Liikanen proposals, look to be going down a ringfence route. Banks trading in both US and the EU are clearly going to have a fun time.

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