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HSBC calls for reform delay

04 Aug 2014

The Chairman of HSBC, Douglas Flint, has written to Chancellor George Osborne to request a delay to plans for a separation of retail and investment banking.

In 2011, Sir John Vickers of the Independent Commission on Banking (ICB), put forward the recommendation to ‘ringfence’ riskier investment banking from everyday high street banking. The law now states that such changes must be made by 2019.

Mr Flint has expressed concerns that a current investigation into small business banking by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) could cause even greater and more expensive shake-ups in the industry.

Last month, the CMA announced plans to investigate personal current accounts offered by high street banks, and also their services for small business, to ascertain the lack of competition and consequent effect on customer value. The powers of the CMA could extend to breaking up the biggest banks or forcing reform in their crucial services.