Michael Skapinker has an interesting article in today’s F.T [Paywall] that refers to the set-piece reforms that were central to activists demands after the 2008 crash.
1 – The separation of retail and investment banks. On this Skapinker says: ” The banks did not get everything they wanted from the Vickers Commission, which recommended that their retail and small-business operations be ringfenced, with their riskier operations outside. But they won a flexible approach, meaning the ringfence could be in different places for different banks and none of it will be implemented until 2019.”
That’s an optimistic evaluation.
2 – Robin Hood Tax – “Bankers have almost certainly won another battle. It is highly unlikely that they will have to submit to a “Robin Hood” tax on financial transactions. The tax is backed by Rowan Williams, the Archbishop of Canterbury, and by France and Germany but, crucially, both the US and the UK are opposed.”
Just to rub it in Michael points out that the era of pay restraint is also now over.
Whilst I don’t share Michael’s pessimism that these battles are over I think that it does demonstrate the immense challenge that is faced by those that want fundamental reform of banking and the need to keep discussion of these reforms in the public domain.