Thursday 20 June 2019 11:41 am

UK banks need 'more support' and tax cuts after being let down over Brexit

UK banks need more support from government to promote a positive vision and cut taxes on the industry, UK Finance chairman Bob Wigley has said.

The trade body chair said government failed to adequately support the finance industry in the Brexit negotiations and called for a new formal body to be set up.

Read more: Resilience, risk and regulatory changes – what lies ahead for the UK finance sector

The organisation, he said, should be made up of regulators, government officials and the Bank of England governor and be tasked with promoting a vision for the role of the finance industry.

Speaking at UK Finance’s summer reception, Wigley said: “I do not think it’s unfair to say that since the financial crisis and particularly during the Brexit negotiations, our sector and services generally have seen nothing like the level of strategic support and attention from government that has been granted to good and technology.”

Wigley added that the aggregate rate of tax paid by banks in New York and Frankfurt was much lower than in London.

“This cannot be sustainable post Brexit without an even larger outflux of international banks than Brexit itself may deliver,” he said.

Read more: Small businesses pessimistic over Brexit and regulations

“With the loss of passporting on Brexit, we will need to find ways of making the UK internationally attractive if we are to retain and attract international banks here,” Wigley added.

He also called for a review of rules to ease the burden on mid-tier and smaller banks, saying poor promotion of competition in the sector meant there is only one mid-tier bank with assets over 50 billion pounds.

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