Turner throws his weight behind banks' living wills

THE UK&rsquo;s biggest banks will be forced to prepare for their own failure by simplifying their legal structures, which could end up increasing their tax bills, FSA chairman Lord Turner said yesterday.<br /><br />Turner backed plans to make institutions draw up so-called &ldquo;living wills&rdquo; which make it easier for a bank to be broken up should it collapse.<br /><br />He added that the process of simplifying a banks&rsquo; operations would also have the knock-on effect of reducing the complex structures that they often use to reduce their tax bills.<br /><br />&ldquo;Living wills will be a forcing device for the clarification and simplification of legal structures,&rdquo; he said.<br /><br />&ldquo;In the past, authorities around the world have tended to be tolerant of the proliferation of complex legal structures designed to maximise tax and regulatory arbitrage,&rdquo; he added.<br /><br />&ldquo;Now we have to demand clarity of legal structure,&rdquo; he told the Financial Times in an interview.