On 2 February 2021, HM Treasury announced that John Flint, Patrick Honihan, Betsy Nelson, Preben Prebensen and Linda Yueh have been appointed as members of the independent review panel on ring-fencing and proprietary trading. They will join Keith Skeoch, who was announced as chair of the panel on 21 December 2020.

The terms of reference for the independent review have also been published. The Financial Services (Banking Reform) Act (FSBRA) 2013 gives the independent panel a broad remit requiring it to review the operation of the legislation relating to ring-fencing and make recommendations as it sees fit. Within this broad remit, the independent panel will cover a number of areas including the impact of ring-fencing legislation in the following areas:

  • Competition in the banking sector, examining both any benefits from ring-fencing and the extent to which it may have acted as a barrier to growth for smaller banks.
  • Competition in the UK mortgage market, including considering the impact of ring-fencing on the price of mortgages and any risk-taking incentives the regime may have created for certain banks.
  • The international competitiveness of the UK banking sector.
  • The provision of finance and related financial services to the economy, considering in particular whether ring-fencing has had any impact on lending conditions to small and medium-sized enterprises and on the provision of productive finance.

Also, FSRBA 2013 requires the independent panel to review proprietary trading engaged in by relevant authorised persons. The independent panel will review the PRA’s report on this topic, assess whether the risks related to proprietary trading are appropriately mitigated and consider any consequences from the evolution of proprietary trading in its assessment.