Britain’s revamped financial market rules will largely be aligned with U.S. and European Union regulations to minimize disruption to global companies, its financial services minister Andrew Griffith said on Thursday.
Britain left the EU in 2020 and has since proposed changes known as the “Edinburgh Reforms” in the face of pressure to bolster the City of London as a center for listing companies after a rebuff from British chip designer Arm.
The EU and United States have also set out market reforms and, with the British changes initially trailed as a “Big Bang”-style shake-up, global banks want to avoid major divergence in rules that bump up their costs.
Griffith said Britain has a “clear vision” of ambitious practioner-led reforms to make the country’s regulation more proportionate, simpler, modern and based on high standards.
“We are already building great relationships with my European counterparts, same with the U.S., and we want to stay in the regulatory orbit as much as we can, as I know many of you are running cross border businesses,” Griffith said.
“We don’t want to become a third polarity, we simply want to operate in a way that helps your markets work as best as possible,” he told the FIX trading conference.
Britain’s regulators will have to consider the sector’s international competitiveness when writing rules.
“We will only do that in a balanced and orderly way, we seek to remove friction from the system, not to add to it,” he said.
Danuta Huebner, a European Parliament member who is leading reform of EU securities rules, said the Edinburgh Reforms put increased emphasis on risk taking and competitiveness, but it was unclear if this will mean divergence from the EU.
“My understanding of what is going on on both sides of the Channel is that the language is the one of reform rather than divergence, and I think we should stick to this,” Huebner said, adding it was good news that the EU and UK were finally on a path to normalizing post-Brexit relations.
The 27-member bloc said this week it would activate a new forum for UK and EU regulators to exchange views, key to easing tensions over issues like derivatives clearing.
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(Reporting by Huw Jones; editing by Toby Chopra and Alexander Smith)
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