“The ‘Edinburgh Reforms’ to financial services unveiled by the Chancellor today are a welcome collection of proposals that strike the right balance between seizing the benefits of Brexit and avoiding unnecessary change for its own sake.
“Some have accused these reforms of representing a ‘bonfire’ of regulatory standards, but that is categorically wrong. They are the next step in a long journey of targeted reforms to make the UK’s financial sector more internationally competitive while ensuring the sector better serves the real economy. Commentators should not conflate regulatory changes to the post-2008 framework with a laissez-faire deregulating agenda – especially given many of these areas are also being looked at by the EU.
“Changes to the ring-fencing regime are particularly welcome and long overdue. No other jurisdiction has implemented such strict requirements on structural separation of retail and investment banking activities. Other positive steps include reviewing the Senior Managers Regime, which in its current form is too onerous and disproportionate, and repealing PRIIPs regulation and consulting on a new direction for retail disclosure, which should further help improve retail investors’ access to financial markets.
“Both the Chancellor and Andrew Griffith, the Economic Secretary to the Treasury, deserve praise for moving our regulatory regime decisively in the right direction.”
By Gerard B Lyons, Business Researcher at the Centre for Policy Studies