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Business Comment

David Prosser: Britain's banks are running very scared


Outlook: D-day for Britain's banks is 12 September. That is when Sir John Vickers is due to unveil the final report of his Independent Commission on Banking. And with time running out to influence Sir John's thinking, it is clear the banks are increasingly spooked by the possibilities.

The latest evidence of that was the story yesterday that Barclays Bank's chief executive has told shareholders that the question of whether his bank remains headquartered in the UK is now in Sir John's hands rather than his.

We saw similar hints of doom from Royal Bank of Scotland and HSBC during their trading updates to the markets last week.

The latest word from insiders at the ICB is that it is inclined to take a stricter line on reform than many had expected. Will it have the courage of its convictions if the veiled threats continue?