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U.K. Bank Breakup Would Be ‘Disadvantage,’ BBA’s Knight Says

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Nov. 23 (Bloomberg) -- Breaking up the U.K.’s banks would place the country at a “competitive disadvantage,” said British Bankers’ Association Chief Executive Officer Angela Knight.

“It would be quite extraordinary if the U.K. decided to do something or take actions in an area where no other country is doing so and hence render ourselves at not just a competitive disadvantage but the businesses we finance at a competitive disadvantage as well,” said Knight in the e-mailed text of a speech to be delivered today in London.

Universal banks are “proven” be resilient in times of crisis, Knight said.

The government-sponsored Independent Commission on Banking, is examining whether banks should be broken up to increase competition and reduce risk in the financial system. The commission, which reports in September, may propose breaking up Lloyds Banking Group Plc, the U.K.’s biggest mortgage lender, committee member Clare Spottiswoode said last week.

To contact the reporter on this story: Jon Menon in London at Jmenon1@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Edward Evans at eevans3@bloomberg.net

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