Barclays could suffer a severe hit from the ring-fence proposed by the Independent Commission on Banking (ICB).

In particular, the policy will prove costly for the bank because it prevents lucrative cross-selling between its retail and investment banking arms and requires the two sides of the business to interact as third parties to one another.

However, it could have been worse for the bank. It will at least be permitted to transfer capital between its investment bank and its retail bank, subject to minimum capital requirements. And it will be permitted to put its corporate lending business on either side of the fence, and to switch its location from year to year.