BBA Warns of the Real Cost of Regulatory Change

A chorus of concerned bankers and business people is now warning about the consequences to economic growth of further un-costed regulatory change, the British Bankers’ Association (BBA) warns.

As the Bank of England (BoE) warns of the volatility of market sentiment – characterised by the BoE’s head of financial stability as a yo-yoing appetite for risk – policy makers need to be acutely aware of the dangers of further increasing the cost of banking at a time when businesses should be building for recovery, said BBA chief executive officer (CEO) Angela Knight.

“Policy makers, regulators, banks and other businesses agree that our three priorities should be restoring financial stability, securing economic recovery and ensuring regulatory reform is fit for purpose. But there is growing concern that regulatory reform is outpacing the other priorities, with real effects on economic recovery,” she said.

“The City is not alone in calling for urgent consideration to be given to the costs and consequences of regulatory change in the banking sector. This is not an abstract discussion, and it does not simply affect the banks.

“Whatever the conclusions of the UK’s Independent Commission on Banking, there is general agreement that they will be significantly costly and have an impact on lending. The UK is leading an international regulatory reform programme which has been largely un-costed. Its economic impact has not been assessed. And few countries intend to implement it in full, but are instead selecting the parts they consider are relevant to them. Now is the time, as the eurozone seeks direction, for the UK to show the way in economic recovery. It’s the economy first, studies and analyses second, and then more rules third,” concluded Knight.


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