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Barclays boss Varley hints at an end to free banking

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Barclays boss Varley hints at an end to free banking

Barclays chief executive John Varley (pictured) has hinted that banks may have to start charging consumers for personal banking services.

According to the Financial Times, in a debate organised by the Commission on Banking (CoB) last night Varley said: 'It is possible that free-if-in-credit banking is a structure that has outlived its time. He described the concept as 'idiosyncratic by the standards of the world' and said it was worth examining.

The debate was the third in a series of debates organised by CoB over the next 15 months to explore the competitivenes of UK banks.

Other panelliest involved in last night's debate included HSBC chairman Douglas Flint and the director general of the CBI Richard Lambert. It was chaired by CoB chairman Sir John Vickers. The review is scheduled to be completed by next September.

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