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Tuesday 25 June 2019


FCA chief rejects regulatory 'race to the bottom'

Written by Hannah McGrath

Britain’s departure from the European Union should not unleash a “race to the bottom” in regulation, the chairman of the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has said.

Speaking at a conference run by the Association for Financial Markets in Europe (AFME), Charles Randell warned against a move towards ‘light touch’ standards as the UK seeks to compete as a global financial centre after Brexit.

Some supporters of Brexit have proposed the idea of ditching caps on bankers’ bonuses once the UK is free to roll back EU financial rules.

Last week, Theresa May signalled a looser approach to burdens on financial firms when she announced plans to the make the UK the “low tax haven of Europe” by targeting the lowest corporation tax rates in the G20 group of countries.

Randell said calls from the financial services industry for a paring back of regulation showed that “some memories are beginning to fade” from the financial crisis of 2008.

He told the audience at AFME: “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.”

Asked about the calls for regulation to be linked to competition, he explained: “I believe that if we deliver our existing statutory objectives of making our markets work well, consumer protection, competition and market integrity, then there should be nothing to stop the firms we regulate from making money and growing in global markets.”

The FCA has committed to a review of its rules handbook, but is holding back on this process until the “post-Brexit landscape” is clear, Randell has said.

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