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Govt pledges 'high standards' for financial services

Govt pledges 'high standards' for financial services

The government has promised to support the UK’s position as an “international financial services centre” by maintaining high standards of regulation and remaining open to international markets post Brexit.

Speaking at the House of Lords today (December 19) the Queen said her ministers would bring forward legislation to “make the most of the opportunities” Brexit would bring for “all the people of the UK”.

In supporting documents the government said part of the legislation would simplify the processes that allowed overseas investment funds to be sold in the UK.

This was to “maintain [the UK’s] position as a centre of asset management” and “provide more choice to UK customers”, the government stated.

Other commitments included “long-term market access between the UK and Gibraltar and legislation which enabled the UK to implement the Basel standards to strengthen the regulation of global banks.

The Basel Standards is a global, voluntary regulatory framework on bank capital adequacy, stress testing, and market liquidity risk which the UK had already signed up to through G20 commitments.

According to the government these changes would support the UK’s position, enhance the competitiveness of the sector and "maintain high standards to protect UK consumers so that they can use financial services products with confidence".

In today’s supporting documents the government said the financial services sector was critical to the UK economy, employing more than 1m people and contributing £127bn to the economy per year.

The UK’s financial services trade surplus is more than £61bn, it stated.

The government also mentioned recent steps it had taken to support the sector, including reforming the regulatory architecture post-2008 and promoting competition by making it easier to switch between banks.

It also hopes to continue to ensure the UK is a “world leader” in fintech and encourage the sector to help meet the government’s commitments on climate change.

These policies were already announced in the supporting documents to the Queen's Speech in October.

imogen.tew@ft.com

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