We Haven’t Solved ‘Too Big to Fail’: BoE’s Haldane
U.K. banks are still lending too little to the real economy, according to Andrew Haldane, the BoE's executive director for financial stability, and combating a "too big to fail" mentality is still unfinished business.
"There's definitely some pretty significant risk-taking happening, we've seen that in the way asset prices have risen so dramatically," he said, but added that this risk taking is not taking place so much in the conventional banking system.
Speaking in particular regard to the London Whale incident - risky trades involving JPMorgan - Haldane said the signal such incidents send about the capacity of the world's biggest bank to manage themselves ought to resonate with all of us.
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"Whether it's too big to bail, or too big to fail, or too big to jail, what the 'whale' incident did signify is a real risk of too big to manage...too complex, too large, too interconnected, too interwoven for anyone, however brilliant, to get their head and their arms around it," he said.
"This is still business that is unfinished."
Extra liquidity has been pumped into the system by central banks around the globe in the last few years, with the Bank of England embarking on a series of asset purchases that have so far totaled 375 billion pounds ($600 billion). Haldane believes that the global economy is still a long way short of normality, and the fact that banks are still lending too little to the wider economy is a perfect example of why these asset purchases should remain in place.
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"The process of healing has begun, there's more capital in the system, there's more liquidity in the system. But are we yet back to normal? Are we in a position where we can revert to where we were? I think we're still some distance away from that," he said.
—By CNBC.com's Matt Clinch; Follow him on Twitter