British government to introduce tougher liquidity rules

By Daily Maverick Legacy 6 October 2009

What started as the British government’s move to limit bank bonuses last week is now becoming a full-blown policy shift. The New York Times reports that “the far-reaching rules by the Financial Services Authority would put pressure on financial services firms to buy £110 billion, or $175 billion, in government bonds or other assets that would remain liquid during a financial crisis, thereby reducing the likelihood of bank failures.” The move could spook banks and investors alike, especially given the price tag of new compliance measures, which would cost the financial industry around $3.5 billion annually. While bankers are starting to voice their concerns over how new rules would affect the UK’s desirability as a financial destination, the Labour government believes their measures will actually help the industry by creating a trusting, highly liquid system. And they are simply implementing G-20 decisions from Pittsburgh.

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