UK’s HM Treasury Unveils Bank Break-Up Legislation, Expects Passage Next Year

Posted on February 11th, 2013 in Banking, International By BuckleySandler

On February 4, Britain’s HM Treasury introduced legislation—entitled the Banking Reform Bill—that would provide regulators with new authority to break up a bank if its investment activities put deposits at risk. The legislation goes a step beyond previously proposed policies that would merely require banks to separate retail banking from investment banking. Under the proposed legislation, in addition to requiring that institutions ring-fence deposits, the Bank of England could force an institution to sell off certain businesses if it determines that the institution has failed to protect retail banking activities from high-risk investments. The bill also would, among other things, provide depositors preference if a bank becomes insolvent, and set new leverage caps. The introduction of the bill is the first step in the legislative process, which Britain’s Chancellor of the Exchequer stated he expects to be finalized next year.