Mon Oct 1, 2012 10:59AM
The British government has dismissed opposition leader’s demand that the banks should be forced to separate their retail and investment arms to be able to provide the necessary service to ordinary customers. Labour leader Ed Miliband earlier called for breaking up of Britain’s biggest banks unless they change policy and consider protecting their retail section from “casino banking” that is the investment in “international money markets.” Miliband said that is necessary so that the investment failures do not affect retail strategies including lending to small businesses. However, a Downing Street spokesman said Miliband is “chasing headlines” with “opportunistic” remarks. Miliband had also accused the government of watering down proposed reforms by Sir John Vickers to protect retail from investment banking, a concern earlier raised by governor of Bank of England Mervyn King. “Either they can do it themselves -- which frankly is not what has happened over the past year -- or the next Labour government will, by law, break up retail and investment banks,” Miliband said. AMR/MA/HE