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Cameron vows to defend UK banks


British Prime Minister David Cameron said Thursday he would "look carefully" at proposed new EU banking regulations while defending the UK's position as an international financial centre.

Speaking in Riga after talks with Latvian Prime Minister Valdis Dombrovskis, Cameron told journalists: "On the negotiations in Brussels on banking regulation...we will look carefully at the outcome of the negotiations last night.

"We are absolutely clear that we must be able to implement the Vickers Plan in the UK which in some ways is tougher than regulations which have been put in place in other European countries. We want to have a proper ring fence between retail banks and investment banks and the rules must allow that to happen."

The Vickers plan is a set of domestic proposals designed to reform the UK banking sector.

Cameron signalled that he would not allow new regulations from Brussels to impact the leading role of the City of London in global marketplaces.

"We have major international banks that are based in the UK but have branches and activities all over the world. We need to make sure regulation put in place in Brussels is flexible enough to allow those banks to be competing and succeeding while being located in the UK," he said.

"We'll look carefully at what the outcome of the negotiations was before working out the appropriate thing at ECOFIN (meeting of EU finance ministers) next week," Cameron added.

Cameron is the first UK Prime Minister to make a bilateral visit to Latvia since it regained its independence form the Soviet Union in

1991 and was also attending the Northern Futures Forum, a meeting of heads of state from nine northern European states.