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View the article online at http://citywire.co.uk/wealth-manager/article/a728710

Labour to unveil banking break-up plans

by William Robins on Jan 17, 2014 at 08:30

Labour to unveil banking break-up plans

Labour leader Ed Miliband will promise a ‘reckoning’ as he sets out plans to break up high street banks in a speech today.

In a speech to be given to the University of London today, Labour leader Ed Miliband (pictured) will call for ‘significant’ numbers of bank branches to be sold off, according to reports.

‘We are not asking whether existing banks might have to divest themselves of a significant number of branches. We are asking how we make that happen. After decades of banking becoming more and more concentrated, Labour will turn the tide,’ he will say.

Under Labour plans, each bank’s market share of personal accounts and small business lending, would be limited to a set maximum level. Banks would be made to sell branches or step back from mergers and acquisition deals if they went over the limit.

Miliband is expected to compare the UK to the US where laws already exist to prevent a bank getting so big it dominates the market.

‘If we carry on as we are, we will end up stuck with the same old banks dominating our high street: the old economy…We will follow the same principle for Britain and establish for the first time a threshold for the market share any one bank can have of personal accounts and small business lending.’

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