Bank of England proposes to ease crisis rule for smaller lenders


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LONDON — Smaller banks will have more time to reach targets for issuing debt that can be written down during insolvency, the Bank of England said on Thursday as it seeks to boost competition in a banking sector long dominated by a handful of lenders.

Banks are required to issue MREL, or minimum requirement for own funds and eligible liabilities, a form of debt that can be written down to replenish capital buffers in a crisis, and avoid the taxpayer bailouts of lenders seen during the financial crisis over a decade ago.

“Making it easier for firms to grow into MREL responds directly to firms’ concerns about barriers to growth created by the step up in MREL requirements as firms expand their balance sheets,” BoE Deputy Governor Dave Ramsden said in a statement.

(Reporting by Huw Jones; Editing by Alison Williams)