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Osborne Expected to Support Moves on Bank Competition, FT Says

Dec. 17 (Bloomberg) -- U.K. Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne is expected to give his support on Dec. 19 to calls for more competition in retail banking, the Financial Times reported, without saying where it got the information.

Virgin Money Holdings U.K. Ltd.’s purchase of the nationalized lender Northern Rock Plc last month and Co-Operative Group Ltd.’s selection as the preferred bidder for 632 Lloyds Banking Group branches, may be highlighted as moves in the right direction by Osborne, who’s responding to proposals in September from the Independent Commission on Banking, the newspaper said today.

Osborne may also urge banks to proceed with plans to make it easier for customers to switch current accounts to different providers, the FT said. He will support the ICB’s proposal to ring-fence retail banking operations to make them safer from riskier investment banking businesses, the newspaper said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Erik Larson in London at elarson4@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Anthony Aarons at aaarons@bloomberg.net

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