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UK limited on how far it could change its regulatory regime post-Brexit

David Biggin, financial services expert at PA Consulting, discusses post-Brexit financial regulation with Global Risk Regulator.

The article notes that UK located banks and regulators committed considerable resources to be ready for the original March 29 Brexit date. Though the UK’s departure from the EU has been delayed, banks are starting to ponder life post-Brexit.

Because of their international reputation and in-depth expertise, UK regulators are very well placed to take a lead and roll out fresh ideas. And within the City, there is general agreement that the UK will push a visibly distinctive agenda once Brexit is in place – the UK is currently expected to leave the EU by October 31 at the latest.

David says: “The British Treasury for one is likely to exert some pressure. It will want to see efforts made to make the UK an attractive place to do business. The UK will want to cater for the needs of fintech and other up and coming industries. I would expect there to be a push from the regulators in a few targeted areas.”

Paring back the tens of thousands of pages of technical standards that underpin higher level rules may be a particular priority. Another may be doing away with some of the onerous EU rules on top bankers’ remuneration.

For several years the UK has had its own stringent rules on the conduct of individuals in banking embodied in the Senior Managers and Certification Regime. So, as mooted by Bank of England governor Mark Carney two years ago, Britain could dispense with rigid EU caps on bankers’ bonuses (introduced in part at least as a response to populist pressures) and introduce a more flexible regime. This might pull in talent to London’s financial institutions from around the world.

Even so the complexities are considerable and the leeway post-Brexit regulators will enjoy in practice is limited.

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