Banks see Eurozone risk

City A.M. Reporter
BRITAIN’S banks are drawing up contingency plans in case there is a disorderly break-up of the Eurozone or exit of some countries from the single currency, a top UK regulator said yesterday.

Andrew Bailey, deputy head of the Prudential Business Unit at the UK's Financial Services Authority (FSA), said UK banks do not have large exposures to the Eurozone, but must plan for the worst.

“We cannot be, and are not, complacent on this front,” Bailey said at a conference. “As you would expect, as supervisors we are very keen to see the banks plan for any disorderly consequence of the euro area crisis.”

He also talked about retail banks, saying they should be more transparent over the fees they charge customers.

“What is very hard is for the public to work out for what it’s paying for the simplest elements of banking services and that of course has an effect on things like switching [accounts],” he said.

Bailey, who was Chief Cashier at the Bank of England, moved to the FSA as part of preparations for a shake-up of the UK’s financial supervision from 2013.