Regulatory and Banking Reform — Statement

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 5:04 pm on 16th June 2011.

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Photo of Lord Maples Lord Maples Conservative 5:04 pm, 16th June 2011

I have a couple of quick points on the ring-fencing proposal. Does what the Chancellor said last night mean that we have finally ruled out the idea of a complete split between investment banking and commercial banking? Secondly, does the Minister agree that for ring-fencing to work, the ring-fenced commercial or high-street bank will need a strong degree of independence on its board of directors to enable it to stand up to the banking group of which it is a part?

Thirdly, the Minister's point about how many holes there are or how permeable the ring-fence is is important because presumably the purpose of the ring-fencing is to stop the investment banks' liabilities appearing on the commercial banks' balance sheets as assets, or for that matter the liability of any other investment bank. If that permeability is there at all, investment bankers will find some way of using the commercial banks' balance sheets to their advantage.