BOE Imposes Tougher Rule on Banks in First Post-Brexit Proposal
A sign sits outside the Bank of England (BOE) in the City of London, U.K. (Photographer: Simon Dawson/Bloomberg)

BOE Imposes Tougher Rule on Banks in First Post-Brexit Proposal

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The Bank of England used its first major regulatory proposal since the end of the Brexit transition period to impose a tougher rule on British banks than they would face if the U.K. was still part of the bloc.

The central bank’s Prudential Regulation Authority said it won’t allow lenders in the country to get a capital benefit from their investments in software technology. The decision contrasts with a move by the European Union last year to allow its lenders, including Deutsche Bank AG, to get a break on capital worth up to 20 billion euros ($24 billion).

The PRA argued that the EU’s approach would threaten the safety of British banks because it would leave them with fewer resources to absorb losses on loans or trades that go bad. The five largest U.K. banks had more than 10 billion pounds ($14 billion) in software assets in 2019, according to Deloitte.

The BOE’s decision was included in a wide-ranging regulatory proposal on Friday that implements international capital and liquidity standards. The central bank also said that it would complete a review of restrictions on bank leverage by the middle of the year.

The proposal supports statements by Governor Andrew Bailey that diverging from EU standards after Brexit isn’t a matter of rolling back regulations. The EU has held back on granting easy access to London markets, with the European commissioner for financial services saying that the bloc must scrutinize the U.K.’s regulatory plans in case they water down standards.

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