28 Jan 2010

Soros calls for break-up of big banks

8:55 am on 28 January 2010

Billionaire investor George Soros has called for a radical break-up of banks that are "too big to fail" and backed US President Barack Obama's proposed reforms to limit the size of banks.

Speaking to journalists at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Mr Soros said that Wall Street bankers opposing Mr Obama's plans were "tone-deaf".

Other bankers at the event, however, warned against more regulation. The boss of Barclays Capital, Bob Diamond, says he's seen no evidence to suggest that making banks smaller is the answer.

Mr Soros praised the US president's plan to separate the commercial banking and investment arms of big banks, but said most investment banks would "still be too big to fail."

To contain these banks, he said, all major economies would have to agree on a common set of financial regulation that set strict limits on how much money the banks can borrow to invest.