LONDON Nov 12 Britain could force banks to fully separate their retail banks from their riskier areas if lenders fail to implement a "ring-fence" that sufficiently safeguards taxpayers or improves behaviour, the architect of the plan said on Monday.
John Vickers, who headed a commission that said domestic retail businesses should be shielded or "ring-fenced" from other operations, said threatening banks with a full break-up should help ensure the plan works. Britain is discussing how best to implement Vickers' proposals.
"I believe the ring-fence will work. With the legal and other safeguards it will work, including on the cultural aspect," Vickers told a panel of UK lawmakers assessing standards in banking, when asked if a risky culture in investment banking could filter across a bank if there was not a full separation.