Two new words a big threat to banking

"POLITICAL interference" is the greatest threat facing the banking industry, according to the annual "Banking Banana Skins" report.

Respondents – who include bankers, close observers of the financial scene and regulators – said that the "politicisation" of banks as a result of bail-outs and takeovers posed a major threat to their financial health.

This is the first time in the survey's 15-year history that political interference has been listed by respondents.

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Steve Davies – head of financial services consulting at accountancy firm PricewaterhouseCoopers in Scotland, which carried out the survey with London's Centre for the Study of Financial Innovation – said: "There is real concern that the financial crisis has taken the industry's future out of its own hands.

"Senior figures believe the top risk is political interference with too much regulation following closely at number three – and if confidence and trust in this sector is to return, this needs to be addressed as a matter of urgency."

Other threats included "credit risk", "macro-economic trends" and "liquidity".