One of the defining features of the response to the financial crisis by the UK’s major banks was the desire to simplify their operations. Considering the circumstances leading up to the 2007 crisis, they had good reason. Ferocious growth in securitisation, slack capital adequacy controls and deregulation during the prior two decades had fuelled the rapid expansion of banks. In an increasingly internationalised financial system, setting up offices across the globe to grow the client base even further made sense.

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