New City minister Andrew Griffith must push forward with the government’s plan to reform the UK’s financial services rulebook post-Brexit, the industry’s leading business group has said.
TheCityUK today congratulated the ex-Sky executive on his appointment and called on the Treasury to ensure the UK is a “well-regulated, open and competitive place to do business”.
Griffith, a close Boris Johnson ally, has been given the City brief as well his position as financial secretary to the Treasury under chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng.
He takes over from John Glen, after he quit the role in July as Johnson’s government collapsed, who was overlooked in Liz Truss’ reshuffle after supporting the Tory leadership campaign of Rishi Sunak.
Griffith will be charged with pushing the long awaited Financial Services and Markets Bill through parliament and tearing up EU regulations on the City.
Kwarteng last week vowed the changes will herald a “Big Bang 2”, in relation to the 1980s deregulatory agenda that saw London re-establish its place as a global financial services powerhouse.
Miles Celic, chief executive at TheCityUK, said: “With a strong background in the industry, we look forward to working with [Griffith] to further maintain and enhance its position as a great British success story, deliver the reforms set out in the Financial Services and Markets Bill and support our role as an engine of growth for the whole economy.”
UK Finance, a trade association for the banking sector, said Griffith has “strong business expertise and knowledge of financial services and we are looking forward to working with him”.
“The government has talked about the importance of supporting the financial services sector and his role is a vital one in terms of delivering economic growth and a more competitive financial sector,” UK Finance chief executive David Postings said.
The Financial Services and Markets Bill provides a mechanism to override or ditch EU rules on the UK financial services sector, with the Treasury and financial regulators now working on replacement regulations.
The insurance industry’s Solvency II directive, which ties up capital that cannot be invested, will be among the first to be replaced.
The bill also creates a new mandate that financial regulators must consider the “growth and competitiveness” of the City when making new decisions.