Britain’s banks remain over-indebted, highly vulnerable and harbour growing funding gaps which leave them susceptible to future shocks, the Bank of England has said.
In a sign of the strain facing nations’ public finances – including the UK’s – the report also revealed that the threat of a sovereign debt default has become one of the biggest concerns for investors. A survey put together for the report identified sovereign risk as a financial stability concern for the first time.
The report also laid out a number of key criteria banks will have to fulfil in the future – reforms which could transform the structure of the financial system. Among its recommendations were that in future banks should “face a credible threat of closure or wind down”, should have a “risk-based, pre-funded deposit insurance system”, should increase their levels of capital and liquidity, depending on their size, and should provide a “will” which explains how to dismantle them in the event of insolvency.
The Banking Bill which we are currently discussing in the House is very complex and detailed, but it does nothing to resolve the current banking crisis, which lies at the heart of our economic problems. … the fault that really needs correcting is our whole banking system.
The debate which must be reopened and made contemporary is that between the Banking and Currency Schools of the nineteenth century. At the time of the 1844 Bank Charter Act, the Currency School committed three errors which haunt us today. More to follow at The Cobden Centre.