FCA chief calls for support of financial services as City asks for digital skills visa

By Moriah Costa on Thursday 6 July 2017

Alternative Lending

Brexit does not mean an end to free trade of financial services, Financial Conduct Authority Chief Executive Andrew Bailey said.



With Brexit negotiations underway, the financial services sector in London is vying for support and regulators are taking note.


The City of London on Thursday asked for a special digital skills visa after the UK leaves the EU, while the country’s chief financial regulator said there was no reason free trade of services between the two should end.


There should be no question of whether or not the UK should have open financial markets and trade, says Andrew Bailey, the FCA chief executive.


“The economic and financial cost of losing open markets is too great to be justified and is not a necessary response to the choice of Brexit,” he said.


“Does Brexit have to mean abandoning the benefits of free trade and open markets in financial services? It should not,” he added.


“Does it require membership of the Single Market to get the benefits of free trade with the EU? No.


“Does Brexit mean abandoning the use of regulatory co-operation to ensure sufficient alignment of standards and outcomes so that open markets can prevail? It should not.”


Bailey said that “equivalence” should be implemented; a method that would allow the UK would be able to access the Single Market in the EU. In addition, he said the country needed to maintain strong regulatory links to the EU, in order to maintain coordination and implement stronger international standards.


The City of London is also hoping to maintain its spot as the financial capital of the world. In a report made with PwC the City’s lobby group proposed a visa for those with digital skills or who studied at UK technology institutions.


Ricky Knox, CEO and founder of Tandem, said he supported the City’s call for a digital skills visa, as his firm has employees from around the world.


“If we are to keep the positive momentum going we need to protect, not restrict, the flow of talent that is attracted to the exciting and ever evolving UK financial landscape,” he said “These guys are not just working for companies like Tandem, they’re founding them too; and this enthusiasm needs to be encouraged if we are to successfully navigate the post-Brexit world.”

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