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Queen's speech to include bank reforms

Published 9 May 2012 by

We can expect news on banking reforms in the Queen's speech today, we're told. We should find out more about the legislation that's meant to make banking safer, by splitting banks' retail operations and their investment activities (often called their 'casino' operations).

The idea is that the investment arms could then be allowed to fail without putting the money in people's bank accounts at risk.

This was recommended by the Vickers Report, after Sir John Vickers was given responsibility for reviewing the banking sector after the financial crisis began.

As the BBC reports, banks that split their activities like this might be the only ones allowed to offer bank accounts and other banking services on the high street - and their retail operations 'would not be allowed to trade in derivatives or other exotic financial instruments blamed for the financial crash'.

A lot of people will be pleased to see these changes announced, although there's been a lot of concern about the timescale involved, since banks probably wouldn't have to make the changes until 2019.

Other things we can expect the speech to contain include: changes to top executives' pay, reform of the House of Lords, the creation of a National Crime Agency, changes to public sector pensions, and an increase in internet monitoring.