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Breaking up banks would be a mistake, says CBI chief

John Cridland, the new head of the Confederation of British Industry (CBI), has urged the commission looking into the structure of the banking industry not to break up the UK’s banks.

Cridland, the director-general of the CBI, said that a healthy banking sector is essential for business to prosper and warned the Independent Commission on Banking (ICB) that breaking up UK banks would do more harm than good.

“Businesses value integrated services provided by large universal banks, so breaking up existing banks is not the way forward,” Cridland said. “Instead, structural reform should focus on establishing the necessary capital buffers, having effective recovery and resolution arrangements, and appropriate supervision.”

Highlighting that financial services in the UK accounts for around 10 percent of total economic output, Cridland said this must not be jeopardised by the UK acting in isolation on reforms.

“We need a stable banking infrastructure in this country to deliver growth. That will not be made by taking the UK far ahead and on a divergent path,” he said.

The ICB will publish its final report to the government in September.

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