HSBC's Flint outlines conflicts at heart of banking

In a revealing speech, Douglas Flint, group chairman of HSBC and the new chairman of the IIF, outlines the regulatory and political conflicts that bedevil the world of banking and finance.

In a closed-door conference in London last week, organised by trade group TheCityUK, Douglas Flint, group chairman of HSBC, gave a speech in which he highlighted the massive contradictions banks face. The speech was important, not just because of the cogency of what he said, but also because it shows that bankers are finally starting to stand up to the illogicality of the regulators and governments.

The wave of new banking regulations being formulated in the West will have profound effects around the world. In Asia, trade finance lines are already being pulled by European banks retreating into home markets and non-core businesses are being sold....

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