Alistair Darling is planning legislation this autumn to force British banks to draw up 'living wills' so that they can be dismantled more easily in any future financial crisis.

The proposal to set out a timetable for banks to simplify their corporate structures and plan for dissolution will be included in a financial services bill in the Queen’s speech in November. The bill will also give the Financial Services Authority statutory responsibility for financial stability.

'Whilst the FSA has got the power to [introduce living wills], we are considering whether or not we need to make that more explicit, and in particular, I think we need a timetable,' the chancellor told the Financial Times in an interview yesterday. 'This is something you can’t just allow to drag on.'

Financial Times, The Times