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Inquiry to ask if British banks are too big to fail

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One of the most influential committees in Parliament will examine whether Britain’s banks should be carved up to prevent a re-run of the financial crisis last year. The Treasury Select Committee said yesterday that it would open an inquiry next year into whether banks are too big to fail and whether large, complex lenders should be forced to ring-fence riskier parts of their business from more mundane operations.

 

The collapse of Lehman Brothers, the Wall Street investment bank, in September last year sent shockwaves across world financial markets because financiers, governments and regulators had not grasped how the failure of such a large lender could bring others down with it.

 

The issue of whether a bank is too big to fail has been a thorny issue that has divided the Government, the Conservatives and the Bank of England. While Mervyn King, the Bank’s Governor, has long argued that if a bank is too big to fail, it is simply too big, the Conservatives appear to have stepped back from proposing that large banks be forced to carve themselves up.

 

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Inquiry to ask if British banks are too big to fail - Times Online


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