The UK's booming investment industry does not require EU membership to keep motoring, the head of the Financial Conduct Authority has said.
The City has a "well established" model of cross-border cooperation, which needs no intervention as a result of Brexit, Andrew Bailey said during the annual Investment Association dinner at Mansion House tonight
"Let’s not beat about the bush, this model works – it works well for investors and for investment managers. So, why disrupt it, or put another way, must it be disrupted?" he asked. "What we have done is to help to put into effect, with firms, a system that serves the public interest. Does it require membership of the EU to make this system work? No it does not."
Bailey stressed the need to retain regulation that "delivers equivalent outcomes and protection and embodies close co-operation and information exchange between the regulatory authorities". A commitment to the principles of open markets, competition and a willingness to change was the best way to cope with the challenges thrown up by Brexit, he said.
Only a "failure of the imagination" would mean leaving the EU would pave the way for a weaker investment management sector across Europe.
"We are ready to roll our sleeves up and continue to make open markets work effectively."
The UK is currently the largest market in Europe, with around £8 trillion of assets - more than the next three countries combined, and equal to around a third of the EU's total assets under management. Around £1 trillion of that is managed on on behalf of overseas authorised funds, of which more than 80 per cent are domiciled in either Luxembourg or Dublin.