Banks Too Big to Manage

Bank of England's Sharp says the 'London Whale' shows financial-stability risks of banks with huge pools of financial instruments.

Richard Sharp, a member of the Bank of England’s Financial Policy Committee (FPC), said the so-called London Whale losses at JPMorgan Chase & Co. illustrate the financial-stability risks posed by firms “too big to manage.”

JPMorgan’s report on the losses is “very chilling” in revealing how information “can get distorted” as it passes through management layers, Sharp said in a parliamentary testimony today in London. Money laundering in places such as Mexico at HSBC Holdings Plc and rogue trading at UBS AG are among other examples, he said.

Leverage Ratio

Sharp, who used to work at Goldman Sachs Group Inc., said risks posed by these large financial institutions support the case for officials to be given a tool to adjust banks’ leverage ratios, a measure of their debt-to-equity level.

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