Independent Commission on Banking

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The Independent Commission on Banking (ICB, also known as the "Vickers Commission") is a five-member panel appointed by the U.K. government in 2010. [1] The commission, which is chaired by former Chief Economist of the Bank of England Sir John Vickers, issued its final report and recommendations on September 12, 2011. [2]


The ICB recommends that banks "ringfence," or separate retail banking operations from trading and investment banking activities. Ringfenced operations would be required to have a separate board of directors, and a 10 percent equity capital reserve. Among the goals and recommendations in the 363-page report:

  • the emergence of a competitor to the "Big Four" British banks - Lloyds, Royal Bank of Scotland, HSBC, and Barclays;
  • a "firewall" between a bank's retail and investment banking operations, with stricter capital reserve requirements than those of Basel III;
  • elimination of the implicit guarantee that taxpayers will bail out failed banks, which tended to "unduly encourage risk-taking by banks; and
  • regulations to improve competition and choice "to the benefit of consumers."[3]

To view the final report, click [HERE].

Commission Members[edit]

  • Sir John Vickers, professor of economics, Oxford; former Chief Economist of the Bank of England;
  • Clare Spottiswoode, chair of Gas Strategies;
  • Martin Taylor, chairman of Syngenta AG;
  • Bill Winters, former Co-CEO, JP Morgan; and
  • Martin Wolf, economics commentator at the Financial Times.