So it can be done after all.
Britain is poised to take tough steps to break up the large banks it rescued, setting it in stark contrast to the United States, which seems set on a policy of shoring up the unfair advantages it grants its too-big-to-fail banks while regulating around the edges.
It is quite a change for Britain, which has a sorry history of self-serving self-regulation in financial services combined with limp and outgunned official control.
Chancellor of the Exchequer Alistair Darling on Sunday told the BBC that Lloyds, RBS and Northern Rock would be partly broken up and assets sold to new entrants into the banking market. Large existing competitors such as HSBC are expected to be blocked from making bids for the assets.
Britain took over Northern Rock after a run on the bank and its rescue of Lloyds and RBS left it with stakes of 43 and 70 percent, respectively.
It is worth noting that if anything Britain is more dependent on its financial services sector than the United States.