Darling: Banks to be forced to write living wills

CHANCELLOR Alistair Darling has said banks will be forced to draft so-called &ldquo;living wills&rdquo; to make it easy to break them up without damaging the wider economy if they collapse in a future financial crisis.<br /><br />Darling said the Queen&rsquo;s speech in November will outline the plans, which will force banks to simplify their structures and lay out contingency plans for potential failures.<br /><br />City regulator the Financial Services Authority (FSA) will also be charged with overseeing financial stability in a new financial services bill to be announced in the speech. <br /><br />&ldquo;Whilst the FSA has got the power to introduce living wills, we are considering whether or not we need to make that more explicit, and in particular, I think we need a timetable,&rdquo; Darling said.<br /><br />He said it was a &ldquo;worry&rdquo; when firms were structured with a focus on minimising tax rather than on financial strength. &ldquo;This is something you can&rsquo;t just allow to drag on,&rdquo; he told the Financial Times. <br /><br />The new rules, pledged on the one-year anniversary of the collapse of Lehman Brothers, come as administrators face an epic task unwinding the bank&rsquo;s giant web of assets and liabilities.<br />