EU scraps draft reform to split banking operations


The European Union has called time on its quest to force the bloc's banks to split their retail operations from riskier trading floors.

The European Commission said its proposal for bank structural reform had been withdrawn because it could not square the conflicting views of member states.

It added that such a law was no longer needed because it had been overtaken by other pieces of financial regulation tackling the "systemic complexity of banks".

The EU was attempting to drive down the risk of "too big too fail" following the 2008 financial crisis by forcing European lenders to split their retail and investment banking arms.

In a report on Tuesday, the EU said there would be "no foreseeable agreement" on the draft proposal, which was adopted by the Commission in 2014.

Vanessa Mock, a spokeswoman for the European Commission, said "the world had moved on" since the proposal was first tabled and banks' trading operations were now smaller than before the crisis.

She added: "The Commission has decided to withdraw the Bank Structural Reform (BSR) proposal in accordance with better regulation principles.

"While in June 2015 the Council adopted a general approach on the proposal, the European Parliament has not managed to date to bridge the difference of views among its members.

"The Commission has repeatedly tried to broker a compromise to no avail. There is accordingly no prospect of the proposal being adopted."

Government ring-fencing measures in the UK demand all British banks with more than £25 billion of UK deposits section off their retail operations from their investment banks by 2019.