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Nick Clegg: Banking reforms could happen before 2019

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Deputy prime minister Nick Clegg has said that banking reforms could be put in place “well before 2019” in order to prevent another taxpayer bailout.

Clegg asserted that Britain’s biggest banks can implement reforms far earlier than the dates proposed by the Independent Banking Commission chaired by Sir John Vickers.

“We will not make promises about doing it more quickly than we think we might and we need a little bit of time to get the details right”

-Nick Clegg, Deputy Prime Minister

“I am pretty confident that [2019] basically is a backstop date,” Clegg told BBC radio. “As long as we legislate during this parliament, I suspect that actually the changes will be implemented well before 2019.”

The commission’s report, published earlier this month, said banks should have a firewall between its high street banking businesses and their “casino” investment banking arms.

Clegg admitted that the reforms are extraordinary technical, and said: “We will not make promises about doing it more quickly than we think we might and we need a little bit of time to get the details right.”

Speaking about the deadline, Clegg said that if it were possible, he would like the banking reforms to be included in the Financial Services Bill, which has recently started its passage through the parliament.

“I think all of us at the top of government, including the chancellor, would like to see this done as quickly as possible. Quite sensibly, George Osborne and the Treasury have said this is an immensely complicated issue, exactly as I have discovered as I have delved into the technicalities of how a ring-fence would work,” he added.

The government plans to pass the laws on banking reforms during this parliament, which runs until May 2015 at the latest.




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