Oct. 13 (Bloomberg) -- The British government must resist pressure from lobbyists to “water down” proposals made by the Independent Commission on Banking and other regulators, ICB Chairman John Vickers said.
“It is for government and parliament to resist emasculation or watering down,” Vickers, 53, told members of a joint committee of both Houses of Parliament today in London. “It is a risk.”
U.K. banks face as much as 7 billion pounds ($11 billion) a year in implementation and funding costs after the government- sponsored ICB report published last month recommended banks insulate consumer banking operations, the commission estimated. Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc Chief Executive Officer Stephen Hester this week said the plans are a “done deal,” while Lloyds Banking Group Plc Chairman Win Bischoff said it is important to see “how it’s going to be implemented.” Banco Santander SA’s U.K. head Ana Patricia Botin said the proposals are “very radical.”
“One sees evidence of lobbying activity in a variety of jurisdictions on these fronts and I think it’s very important both within the U.K. and in the wider international community that there is strong resistance,” Vickers said.
There’s a “low probability” of British-domiciled banks moving abroad as a result of the commission’s recommendations and that its findings were adjusted to stop that happening, Vickers said separately this week.
“There is a strong case for strengthening, not weakening those international requirements on such matters as capital requirements,” said Vickers today.
U.K. Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne in September said the government will stick to the ICB’s timetable to implement the plans by 2019.
--Editors: Jon Menon, Francis Harris
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