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HSBC decision good news, but is UK Government playing into banking sector's hands? PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 15 February 2016
Commenting on HSBC opting to stay in London rather than move abroad, John Thanassoulis, Professor of Financial Economics at Warwick Business School and an expert on the banking sector, has made the following statement:"This is great news for the UK: It safe guards London's position as a global centre of Finance and so protects the jobs in professional services and banking which deliver the financial services.
"This news reflects changes in the UK and in China.

"For the UK this is the positive side of the change in emphasis made clear by the Chancellor in his mansion house speech. That is less confrontational regulation of banks. The speech was followed by the removal of the head of the FCA, by the dropping of the investigations into Bank culture, by the weakening of claw back regulations, and today we learn by lower capital requirements than the author of the UK reforms, Sir John Vickers, required.

"The question is has the government created an environment in which the balance is pushed too far towards the banks? Systemic risks can materialise quickly. For example announcing stamp duty changes six months in advance risks creating a mini property price bubble in exactly the area the FPC cited as a risk: Buy to let. The sudden oscillations in the price of Bank shares are another example.

"The government might not realise how powerful they are; or perhaps how sensitive regulators are in setting to avoid the fate of the former head of the FCA."

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