Nine-in-ten Brits do not think the government should change financial services regulations to promote “international competitiveness” post-Brexit, according to a new survey.
An Opinium survey – commissioned by an alliance of 37 charities and public interest groups – found 91 per cent of Brits would prefer the government to “focus on the future stability of the financial system”.
It comes as the alliance, which includes former Lib Dem leader Sir Vince Cable, today sends in its submission to the Treasury’s consultation into post-Brexit financial services regulation changes.
A Treasury source heaped doubt on the findings, saying that there isn’t a “binary choice” between international competitiveness or financial stability and that the average person probably has no idea about the consultation.
City A.M. revealed last week that the government is set to unveil a package of measures to shed retained EU financial services regulations later this year, with the capital requirement on insurance firms set to be eased.
Cable and the other groups have called on the government to ensure the Financial Conduct Authority’s objectives are not changed to promote the City’s global competitiveness out of fears the regulator could “act as a cheerleader for industry”.
Cable said: “Now that the financial crisis is over a decade behind us, banking lobbyists are agitating for a relaxation of the very regulations that are designed to keep our money safe.”
A Treasury spokesperson said: “The way financial services is regulated is crucial to the future strength of the UK as a global financial centre. Maintaining financial stability, consumer protection and a sound financial system is, and will remain, central to that.
“But we also want regulation that supports growth, which is why we are proposing the FCA and PRA also advance the long-term growth and international competitiveness of the UK economy as a secondary objective and consider the government’s commitment to achieve net zero in their regulations”