Feb. 04 - British banks which fail to safeguard their day-to-day or ''retail'' banking operations from their risky investment activities will face being separated, said Finance Minister George Osborne.
In a speech on bank reform on Monday (February 4), Britain's Finance Minister George Osborne said he is prepared to crack down harder on errant banks. Lenders were already expected to have to ring-fence their activities such as standard bank accounts and payments from riskier investment banking, something which will hit major players such as Barclays, HSBC and Royal Bank of Scotland. But now Osborne says if a bank flouts the rules, the regulator and the Treasury would have the power to break it up altogether, which he termed "electrifying the ring-fence." Britain is shaking up its system of bank regulation, following the 2008 financial crisis, when the government spent 65 billion pounds ($102 billion) of taxpayers' money on rescues of RBS and Lloyds Banking Group.