Q. Do we finally have all the details of the coalition’s bank reform?
A. No. All we have are the main outlines of its response to the Vickers Commission. Although some elements are clear, the most important details, such as precisely where the Treasury will come down on capital requirements and how the ring-fence will work, remain foggy.
Q. when will we know the final outcome?
A. All the government has said is that it will produce a finalised white paper by 2015 and that banks will have until 2019 to comply with any bill that is passed. In practice, there is likely to be a consultation until the spring and potentially a white paper in the latter half of next year, although the timeline will certainly be affected by a range of international initiatives on capital rules and banks’ living wills.
Q. do the changes made so far mean HSBC is almost certain to stay in the uk?
A. Not yet. For one thing, Vickers (right) is not the only annoyance for the bank, which has also complained about the bank levy. But for another, although the bank has won a significant victory, it cannot be sure it will qualify to have its global business exempted from the rules.