News Summary: UK declares new powers over banks

News Summary: UK declares new powers to break up banks' retail, investment businesses

Associated Press

NOT TOO BIG TO FAIL: Britain's treasury chief warned the country's banks on Monday that they face being broken up if they fail to protect their retail operations from their riskier investment arms.

NOT HAPPY CAMPERS: The new measure gives regulators the power to force a complete separation of a lender's retail business from its investment banking, but bankers fear it will hurt the competitiveness of British banks and do little to make them more stable.

NOT CHEAP: Britain's banking industry, which accounts for 4.6 percent of annual economic activity, has been caught up in a series of scandals since the financial crisis in 2008. Risky investments undermined banks' stability in 2008, leading to taxpayer bailouts of two big U.K. banks.

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