News Column

G7 Finance Ministers to Discuss Banking Reform

May 10, 2013
British Chancellor George Osborne
British Chancellor George Osborne

Finance ministers from the Group of Seven (G7) are to discuss banking reform and tax evasion at a two-day meeting that begins Friday outside London, British Chancellor George Osborne said.

The "informal" talks in Buckinghamshire are the first time the ministers, together with their central bank chiefs, have met like this for three years. In 2009, the G7 finance chiefs decided to end their regular gatherings, to be replaced by Group of 20 meetings.

Since then, the world's seven richest long-industrialized countries have instead met on the sidelines of G20 and International Monetary Fund (IMF) meetings.

Osborne said Britain as chair wanted "a forum for the advanced economies to come together for informal discussions with less focus on lengthy, pre-prepared communiques and read-out statements."

The G20 - which includes emerging economic heavyweights, such as Brazil, India and China - was "rightly the primary economic forum for setting the global rules of the game," the chancellor said.

"But the G7 still represents around half of the world's economy and constitutes major economic firepower," he said. "We can together show the political will to nurture global economic recovery."

Officials from participating countries said the meeting would be an opportunity to discuss more controversial topics that are less easy to discuss openly in the G20 and would mean the G7 could take a united position at the meeting of G20 finance ministers in July.

Topics were also to include fixing flaws in the international banking system in which some institutions are "too big to fail" and ways to break down global trade barriers, Osborne said.

The meeting is taking place three weeks after G20 and IMF meetings in Washington. It provides an opportunity for finance ministers to meet their new counterparts from the United States and Italy, Jacob Lew and Fabrizio Saccomanni.

The G7 is made up of Britain, the United States, Japan, France, Germany, Italy and Canada. No communique was to be issued after the meeting.

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Source: Copyright 2013 dpa Deutsche Presse-Agentur GmbH. Distributed by MCT Information Services

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