Regulator rejects calls for financial services deregulation post-Brexit

Written by Oliver Wade

The chair of the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) Charles Randell has said that calls for deregulation from some quarters of the financial sector demonstrated that “some memories are beginning to fade” from the financial crisis.

The FCA has already committed to reviewing its regulation post-Brexit when changes to regulation from leaving the European Union (EU) have become clearer, but Randell dismissed calls for regulation to be based on “competitiveness”.

The Authority’s chair made the comments at a London conference hosted by the Association for Financial Markets in Europe, a group that represents investment banks, as some members of the Conservative party called for the FCA to cut back regulation.

A report on the post-Brexit trade relationship by the Institute of Economic Affairs, a group that has been praised by multiple senior Conservative MPs, pushed for “improving the way regulations are made to better support competitive markets”, calling EU regulations a “major threat to the UK economy”.

Furthermore, Boris Johnson recently wrote that EU regulation may in future be “expressly designed” to hinder British firms.

However, Randell commented that international regulation is not a “zero sum game”, announcing that the FCA will “redouble” engagement with EU colleagues after Brexit in order to keep its place at the top of global regulation.

He added: “The FCA does not see the UK’s withdrawal from the European Union as an opportunity to join a race to the bottom in regulatory standards – quite the contrary.

“After each crisis, we bring in a weight of new regulation. We push it up the hill to implementation. And then we deregulate. And then a new crisis starts the process all over again.”

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