Lloyds expected to ease through reform

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ANALYSTS expect Lloyds to be relatively unaffected by moves to ring-fence retail banks as discussed in Parliament yesterday.

Politicians have backed the Independent Commission on Banking proposal to force lenders to split their retail and investment banking arms to help prevent future bail-outs.

Reforms could cost the banks up to £7 billion and they should be in place by 2019.

Jonathan Newman at Brewin Dolphin said Lloyds is not a big player in investment banking and the change is designed to stop High Street banks subsidising investment banks.

And, he said the commission’s backing of the planned disposal of 632 of its branches to the Co-operative Bank is unlikely to have any material impact on a sale that was already going to take place.

Halifax MP Linda Riordan said she supported regulation to avoid a repeat of the banking crisis and a need for taxpayer bail-outs.

But, going forward, keeping jobs in Halifax is always a worry, said Mrs Riordan.

“I went around Lloyds about two weeks ago and I always get the reassurance that Halifax is at the forefront,” she said.

“All we can do is keep our eyes open and keep pressing for Halifax.”

The sale of Lloyds TSB Scotland and Cheltenham & Gloucester brands has led to fears in some quarters of the potential impact on back office functions around the whole Lloyds Banking Group.

There has been no suggestion Halifax would be affected - where 6,000 Lloyds staff are employed - but detailed talks have yet to commence.