UK Government

Independent Commission on Banking: Independent Commission on Banking: publication of Issues Paper

Press Release   •   Sep 24, 2010 14:43 BST

The Independent Commission on Banking publishes an Issues Paper today. The Commission has been asked to consider structural and related non-structural reforms to the UK banking sector to promote financial stability and competition, and to make recommendations to the Government by the end of September 2011.

The purposes of the Issues Paper are to indicate how the Commission is approaching its task, to set out the issues on which the Commission will be focused, and to serve as a Call for Evidence inviting submissions from all interested parties.

The Issues Paper describes the Commission's initial approach to considering financial stability, competition and the other issues to which it must have regard under its Terms of Reference. The Paper then outlines a number of options for reform in broad terms, but emphasises that the list is not intended to be exhaustive and that the Commission has not moved towards any particular options at this stage. The options set out in the paper are:

Reform options related to the structure of banks

* Separation of retail and investment banking
* Narrow banking and limited purpose banking
* Limits on proprietary trading and investing
* Structural separability, including living wills and resolution schemes
* Contingent capital
* Structure-related surcharges

Reform options related to the structure of markets 

* Measures to reduce market concentration
* Market infrastructure reform

The Commission invites views and evidence on a number of questions raised in the Issues Paper, including the benefits, costs and feasibility of the options above and whether there are other options the Commission should examine.

Commission Chair Sir John Vickers said:

"Experience shows that the risks from not asking hard questions about financial stability and competition are far greater than from doing so. Questions about the structure of banking need to be debated in an open, rational way, and we would like to invite anyone with an interest to provide us with views and evidence."

Notes to Editors

1. The Issues Paper is available on the Commission's website at:

2. If you would like to respond to the Call for Evidence in the Issues Paper, please e-mail your response to by 15 November 2010.

3. The Commission will also hold its third full meeting on 24 September 2010. Topics to be discussed include plans for evidence-gathering through the autumn, competition in UK banking, the rules under which foreign banks operate in the UK, and the forward work plan for the Secretariat.

4. The members of the Independent Commission on Banking are Sir John Vickers, Clare Spottiswoode, Martin Taylor, Bill Winters and Martin Wolf.

5. Press enquiries during office hours should be directed to the Commission's Duty Press Officer on 07787 059 259.


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