Buxton wants higher capital ratios

The chairman of Barclays, Andrew Buxton, said at the weekend the time had come to consider raising minimal capital ratios. He said banks should keep high capital ratios and regulators might have to set minimal capital requirements too low.

Barclays and TSB denied press reports that they were planning imminent buy-backs of shares to return a total of 2bn pounds of cash to shareholders.

Barclays has been reviewing its capital needs since the spring. In August it offered to buy back several hundred million dollar's worth of subordinated debt. A spokesman said further moves were possible but reports were spueculative.

A TSB spokesman said it had no immediate plans although it has shareholder approval for a buy-back of up to 15 per cent, or nearly 500m pounds.

Both banks has core 'tear 1' capital-to-asset ratios well above the 4 per cent minimum.