Our country already has many advantages. Our high regulatory standards are a strength, not a weakness, providing certainty and reassurance for businesses and investors. The same can be said for our commitment to the Rule of Law. We have the largest and most developed market in Europe for related professional services (accounting, management consulting and legal services). These three sectors contributed £27.1bn, £16.8bn and £22.2bn respectively to UK output in 2018, according to the latest available data. The UK’s exit from the EU provides an opportunity to enhance the competitiveness of our economy even further through a new regulatory framework. This will ensure that our industry can support the government to create the wealth, jobs and opportunities of the future.
The new Prime Minister should:
- Set an ambitious target for the UK to regain its position as the world’s leading international finance centre within the next five years. Our International Strategy sets out a clear path on how this can be achieved.
- Deliver a regulatory regime with consumer protection at its heart which is tailored to the UK market while also remaining fair, predictable, client centric and nimble in responding to new challenges and opportunities.
- Deliver the Financial Services and Markets Bill as soon as possible, ensuring that it preserves the day-to-day supervisory independence of the financial regulators while also providing them with a new secondary objective – accompanied by a clear set of measurable KPIs – on economic growth and international competitiveness and ensuring that the government and Parliament can exercise appropriate oversight of their rule-making activities. Also ensure that deference remains the primary approach to third-country supervision.
- Deliver on the Wholesale Markets Review’s commitment to bringing forward a consolidated tape for equities, Exchange Traded Funds, and fixed income. The US already has this, and the EU is strongly committed to mandating one for the Single Market. The UK risks falling behind as a modern financial centre without something comparable.
- Unleash the next wave of investment into UK innovation and sustainable infrastructure by reforming Solvency II – especially the risk margin and matching adjustment rules – to free up new capital that can bolster UK growth.
- Continue to innovate and ensure the UK remains the jurisdiction of choice for international legal services and dispute resolution. The UK’s strong and independent judiciary and reputation as a centre for legal excellence attracts business. There should be strong and unambiguous support for the UK’s Rule of Law to secure this national advantage.
- Establish the UK as a leading market for digital assets by developing a proportionate, risk-based approach to regulation, ensuring that all firms involved are regulated in the same manner commensurate with the risks posed.