Monday 12 September 2011 by Spacey

Banking reforms to take longer than World War II

Britain’s biggest banks will get until 2019 to ring-fence high street operations, 2 years longer than it took allied forces to defeat the Nazis in World War II.

The Independent Commission on Banking called for the changes to be implemented by the start of 2019, when it is hoped that everyone will have forgotten what they were.

“This report is fundamental and far reaching,” said Sir John Vickers, who led the report.

“We wanted to make it easier and less costly to resolve banks that get into trouble, but at the same time allow them enough time to think up some new ways of getting their hands on everyone’s money.”

Banking reform

Chancellor George Osborne welcomed the report and said the planned timetable it recommended was reasonable.

“In comparison to UK banks ring-fencing their retail banking divisions, World War II was a pretty straightforward affair,” he insisted.

“It takes a very long time to get a business to stop taking money from one operating unite and putting it in a difference operating unit.  Anyone who thinks it’s as easy as saying, ‘stop doing that’ is an idiot.”

“These reforms will cost banks between £4bn and £7bn, so we obviously have to allow the banks time to work out how they are going to pass this cost onto their customers.”

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