CBI: Regulation costs are top concern in City

Lauren Fedor
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Finance firms would like George Osborne to cut compliance costs (Source: Getty)
Financial services firms overwhelmingly want the government to cut the cost of regulatory compliance, according to a new survey out today.

The latest CBI/PwC financial services survey found firms’ number-one concern was reducing the cost of complying with regulations. Tax stability was another popular concern, especially among general insurers and investment managers, according to the survey.

“The cost of regulation and tax uncertainty are a top concern for firms across the sector,” Rain Newton-Smith, director of economics at the CBI, said, adding: “They want to see the government focus on keeping the UK a competitive financial centre by not putting UK firms at a disadvantage.”

Promoting financial literacy among households and businesses was the third most-cited priority for the new government.

The CBI/PwC survey, conducted quarterly, also found that business volumes and optimism among financial services firms continued to grow at an above-average pace, but more slowly than in the previous quarter.

“Levels of optimism amongst banks remains broadly unchanged this quarter which is a little surprising as we had expected to see a bounce from the election result and the greater encouragement for financial services from the new government,” Kevin Burrowes, UK financial services leader at PwC, said, adding: “However, ongoing regulatory uncertainty, the EU referendum and other macro-economic factors have dampened the outlook at least in the short term.”

The survey projected overall business volumes are expected to grow at a slightly faster pace next quarter.

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