Osborne sets the course: further and faster
Tuesday 20 December 2011 - by Iain Anderson
George Osborne has signalled the UK's desire to move further and faster on banking reform than any other major international competitor. In the continued post EU veto atmosphere, here was another move carefully designed to show clear blue water between the UK and the Brussels machine.
Finally the chancellor has pushed popular plans to promote bank account switching - customer will be able to so this in just a week. This should prove a highly popular move with the personal finance press and is due to come in by September 2013.
So if the coalition does not break up on the rock of EU relations, we can expect to see these proposals passed before May 2015 by Parliament - although the Lib Dems will want to see Parliamentary time created to do this faster. The banks have until 2019 to implement the capital package in full.
Speaking in the Commons following the chancellor's statement, former Cabinet minister Peter Lilley - who published his report on the Draft Financial Services Bill earlier in the day - called for the measures to receive pre legislative scrutiny.
That must be the right approach. But a balance needs to be struck between ending the uncertainty for banks and their customers, injecting more competition into the sector and getting the solutions right. We now have the starting point.
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