Skyscraper in London, England

El Brexit de la banca británica

LONDRES – Cuando a mediados de los noventa asumí la dirección de la supervisión bancaria en el Reino Unido, a mis amigos no les pareció un cambio atractivo o estimulante en mi carrera. La regulación bancaria era un trabajo deslucido, como limpiar alcantarillas: esencial, tal vez, pero muy lejos de las primeras planas. Si alguien me preguntaba lo que hacía en el trabajo, generalmente era señal de cortesía más que de auténtico interés.

Veinte años después, la estructura de la regulación bancaria europea encabeza la agenda política en Londres. Es uno de los puntos clave que está renegociando el primer ministro británico David Cameron como condición para la permanencia del RU en la Unión Europea.

Una de las cuatro demandas principales que hizo Cameron a la UE fue dejar sin efecto en el nivel nacional algunos elementos de la normativa que el Banco Central Europeo busca aplicar a la unión bancaria de la eurozona para asegurar uniformidad entre los diversos países. Francia y otros países temen que esta exención permita al RU relajar la regulación financiera en Londres para obtener ventajas competitivas. Pero lo cierto es que las estadísticas recientes indican que los coeficientes de capitalización exigidos y otros controles a las actividades de los bancos son más estrictos ahora en Londres que en el resto de Europa. Por ejemplo, Europa no cuenta con un equivalente de la norma británica que obliga a mantener separadas las actividades de banca minorista y banca comercial, y es difícil que se instituya, dado que los gobiernos de Francia y Alemania se oponen.

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