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HSBC calls for retail banking ringfence delay

HSBC chairman Douglas Flint has written to the Chancellor asking for a delay in the introduction of rules for banks to ringfence their retail operations while the competition authorities investigate the industry, according to reports.

Proposed by the Independent Commission on Banking in 2011, the rules would also mean ringfenced retail banks would have to operate under a different board and hold extra capital. The new regime is due to come into force in 2019

According to Sky News, Flint has written to Chancellor George Osborne asking for the implementation of the changes to be delayed amid concern a Competition and Markets Authority’s inquiry could recommend further structural reform for banks.

The CMA is currently consulting on its provisional finding that individuals and small firms get a poor service from their banks and cannot tell the difference between many of the products on offer.

The ICB called for a competition inquiry to take place this year, but the CMA says the investigation will take another 18 months.

This morning HSBC announced that its pre-tax profits fell to £7.3bn the first half of 2014 compared with £8.4bn in the same period last year, a drop of 12 per cent.

HSBC declined to comment.

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