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Breaking up banks a mistake: CBI chief

Breaking up Britain's biggest banks would be a mistake and could hold the sector back from supporting economic growth, the CBI business group said today.

In a stark warning to the Independent Commission on Banking, which is considering a major overhaul of UK banks, new CBI director general John Cridland said rather than breaking up the big players, banks must be strengthened to play a part in financing a private sector-led recovery.

Mr Cridland stressed the UK risked damaging its position as a global financial centre.

He added: "Breaking up banks would be a mistake; we need a strong banking system to help support the economy and growth. Improving credit flows and providing relevant financial products to businesses will be critical to drive growth and recovery.

"Financial services in the UK is a world-class sector, accounting for around 10% of total economic output, so we must not jeopardise this position by acting in isolation on reforms."

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