'Big four' banks could be split, says OFT boss

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The Independent Online

Britain is right to examine the possibility of splitting up the part-nationalised banks Lloyds and Royal Bank of Scotland, the chief executive of the Office of Fair Trading said yesterday. "I agree that consideration should be given to it," John Fingleton told MPs on the Treasury Select Committee. "I am not opining on what should be done. It is a question which should not go unanswered."

The Independent Commission on Banking is examining whether the "big four" banks – Lloyds, RBS, Barclays and HSBC – are too powerful and need to be split up or restructured.

Mr Fingleton said unwinding the 2008 merger between Lloyds and HBOS could prove too costly and might not tackle other issues behind the sector's lack of competition.