The chief of digital bank Starling warned that political volatility was causing “uncertainty” for businesses today as she voiced concerns that the government’s business reform agenda could be blown off course.
In comments shared exclusively with City A.M., Anne Boden, who founded the digital bank in 2014, warned the tumult of Boris Johnson’s resignation last week risked disrupting plans to overhaul financial regulation and boost the City.
“I would be sorry if current circumstances led to a roadblock on some key and much-needed legislation and reforms.”Anne Boden
“But a bigger issue is that what we have now is creating uncertainty. And that makes it difficult for individuals and businesses to make well-informed decisions.”
Boden’s comments come amid fears that the government could delay plans to bring forward a new financial services bill in the next session of parliament, designed to slash EU-era financial services regulation and boost the City beyond Brexit. The bill would implement the Future Regulatory Framework which will shift greater powers into the hands of regulators and pave the way for measures such as crypto and stablecoin legislation.
Former chancellor Rishi Sunak had been expected to deliver a speech this month laying out the details of the plans but the event has now been scrapped in light of Johnson’s resignation.
Plans for financial reform were also dealt a major blow in the resignation of John Glen as City minister last week, who had been in the post since 2018 and was highly regarded in the City for his efforts shaping post-Brexit financial services rules.
Boden’s comments follow warnings from some of the country’s top business chiefs in the past week that a crisis at the top of the Tory party were putting goo sound handling of the economy in jeopardy.
Marks & Spencer chairman Archie Norman, a former Tory MP, warned that Britain had “fallen into the trap” of seeing events “through the prism of Brexit” and needed a plan for the period ahead.
“Now people need to come together to work out a comprehensive plan for how Britain competes outside the EU,” he said, as reported in the Mail on Sunday.
“That means a long-term plan for productivity and competitiveness – industrial strategy, if you want to call it that – and it needs to be done with sober reflection about where we want to be as a country, not lurching from palliative to palliative as if government can solve every problem.”