The ring-fencing regime is a key piece of regulatory reform that was introduced following the 2008 financial crisis. In 2011 the Independent Commission on Banking (ICB), recommended that the regime be implemented to strengthen the resilience of the banking sector. The regime came into force in January 2019.
The Financial Services (Banking Reform) Act (FSBRA) 2013 required the Treasury to appoint an independent panel to review the operation of the legislation relating to ring-fencing and banks’ proprietary trading activities.
The Treasury appointed Keith Skeoch as chair of the independent Review Panel with responsibility to oversee and deliver two statutory reviews on the operation of ring-fencing legislation and proprietary trading.
The Treasury also appointed John Flint, Patrick Honohan, Betsy Nelson, Preben Prebensen, and Linda Yueh as members of the Review Panel.
The Treasury published the review’s full terms of reference which is available on https://gov.uk/government/publications/members-of-the-ring-fencing-and-proprietary-trading-independent-review-panel-announced-and-terms-of-reference-for-the-review-published/independent-reviews-of-ring-fencing-and-proprietary-trading-terms-of-reference.
As per the terms of reference set by the Treasury, the Review Panel is required to review the operation of the legislation relating to ring-fencing and make any recommendations as it sees fit. Within these terms of reference the Review Panel has considered the following wider objectives for the UK financial sector to be relevant when considering any analysis, assessments and recommendations for ring-fencing and proprietary trading:
a. Ensuring the UK has a resilient financial sector capable of withstanding shocks;
b. Ensuring UK authorities can manage shocks and firm failures, minimising exposure to public finances; and
c. Ensuring the UK has a viable financial sector in order to incentivise innovation and provide a range of high quality, competitive products to all customers.
Furthermore, in line with the Review Panel’s focus on building on the regulatory reforms undertaken to date, it will also have regard to the original objectives and purpose of the legislation that was passed following the ICB and Parliamentary Commission on Banking Standards recommendations.
The panel will aim to finalise its written reports on ring-fencing and proprietary trading for the Treasury within one year of beginning the reviews.