Brexit: Britain to see ‘major boost to trade’ says John Longworth
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José Manuel Campa, chair of the European Banking Authority, admitted the UK was a “very important partner” in the financial world. It comes as a new Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) arrangements for a new post-Brexit financial services agreement stopped short of implementing any new access arrangements allowing banking, insurance and legal advice to be exported to the bloc.
Instead, it is expected a new forum will be developed where both sides will meet twice a year to discuss policy.
Financial services were mostly excluded from the Brexit trade deal amid fears EU cities such as Amsterdam could take London’s crown as the centre of the continent for finance.
However, the UK granted EU financial services firms access to its market under separate arrangements.
But the EU has refused to reciprocate, citing fears of potential British plans to diverge from EU finance rules.
Brussels said it was adamant on engaging with officials in Whitehall to secure a deal with the Brussels banking chief adding: “We do have to engage with the UK and we want to engage with the UK.
But Mr Campa made clear: “The key component, here, of this equivalence decision, is the way forward.”
Mr Campa said London needed to reassure Brussels there would be “no divergence” from bloc’s financial services over the medium- and long-term.
Whitehall officials said Mr Campa’s comments recognised Brussels acknowledges “London status”.
They added to the Express: “London has long been established as a recognised financial centre, it’s nice to see Brussels recognising that.
“But at the same time, we need to cement the UK’s reputation at the front of global financial services.
“Any future deals would need to have UK sovereignty at its heart, it’s all comes down to a matter of respect.”
Since the end of the transition period, financial giants including JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Goldman Sachs Group have been moving billions of pounds in assets and thousands of staff to the EU including Amsterdam due to financial uncertainty associated with Brexit.
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Finance chiefs have also expressed concerns about the lack of clarity of a post-Brexit financial services deal which includes equivalence.
Kay Swinburne, vice-chair of financial services at KPMG UK said the EU-UK MoU “doesn’t deal with anything of substance, such as market access issues”.
She added: “We aren’t anywhere near agreeing equivalence.”
But Catherine McGuinness, policy chair at the City of London Corporation, said despite Brexit, developers were revving up plans for new buildings in the City, home to the giants of world finance to boost the City of London’s financial hub status.
She added: “We’re already seeing in our planning applications a real surge of interest in getting office space in the City.
“I think (we have seen) so far this year 80% of all the applications we saw last year.”
London also dominates the world’s £4.7 trillion-a-day foreign exchange market, it is the biggest centre for international banking and the second-largest fintech hub in the world after the United States.
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