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HSBC chairman says new banker accountability rules are reasonable

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New rules being rolled out to make bankers more accountable were "entirely reasonable" given the pain Britain suffered in the financial crisis, HSBC Chairman Douglas Flint said on Tuesday.

[LONDON] New rules being rolled out to make bankers more accountable were "entirely reasonable" given the pain Britain suffered in the financial crisis, HSBC Chairman Douglas Flint said on Tuesday.

The new "senior managers' regime" will make top bankers directly accountable for rule breaches on their patch from 2016.

The rules have been criticised for reversing the "burden of proof", meaning that bankers will have to demonstrate they took reasonable steps to stop rule-breaking otherwise they would be presumed to be responsible for the breaches.

Bankers could also be jailed if their reckless behaviour resulted in the bank going under.

"It's reasonable given the pain that has been suffered in the last financial crisis that the public feel that in those very narrow circumstances there is redress under the law," Mr Flint said.

Some banks have said the rules could impair London's ability to compete with rival financial centres.

"We are, if you like, doing impact studies as we go at the moment and it will settle down, but the direction of travel is right," Mr Flint said.

He wanted to see a regulatory regime that is seen as the fairest and most robust.

REUTERS