THE CITY minister Andrew Griffith yesterday said post-Brexit financial services reforms were on his “to do list” after new figures suggesting Paris’ stock market had overtaken London’s sent a shockwave through the Square Mile.
The total value of all listings in the French capital overtook London last month, according to number crunchers at Bloomberg.
Whilst most analysts believe London’s competition to be mostly New York and Singapore rather than European capitals, the figures reflect wider fears that London’s equity markets in particular are struggling to appeal to global firms and investors alike.
Senior Tory Lord Dominic Johnson, the co-founder of Somerset Capital, said that “we’re entering a bit of a period of malaise” at a City conference yesterday.
Johnson said the government needed to go much further and faster on taking advantage of post-Brexit financial freedoms, not least on so-called Solvency II regulations requiring insurers to keep vast sums on their balance sheets rather than investing them in longer-term assets. Phoenix boss Andy Briggs said last week that reform would be “critical (to) unlocking billions more investment over the coming years.”
Rishi Sunak promised in early 2021 that changes to retained EU financial services laws would lead to a “Big Bang 2.0” – a reference to the deregulatory period of the 1980s.
The government has introduced the Financial Services and Markets Bill to parliament, which provides a mechanism to scrap EU laws, however the Treasury has delayed its announcement of a new regulatory regime.
City minister Andrew Griffith told a Centre for Policy Studies event yesterday that “we’ve got to deliver” on this agenda.
It emerged last week that the Prudential Regulation Authority has kicked back a consultation into capital requirements – the key element of Solvency II changes – until a “later date.”