Brussels for Breakfast at the BBA
Graham Bishop acts as anchor at these meetings where recent developments influencing financial services regulation in the EU - "Brussels" in shorthand - are reviewed. Participants can become Friends of Graham Bishop and receive our weekly e-mail and other services.
How did it evolve? Since autumn 2004, Graham Bishop has acted as anchor to a monthly breakfast meeting organised by CSFI. These are now hosted by the British Bankers' Association in the City of London. Applications have always exceeded our initial limit of 30 participants, reaching more than 100 on occasions. We have now moved to a room size that has reduced the numbers back to about 60-65 experts attending each month - to preserve the collegiality. So the format clearly meets a need.
We have held more than 100 such events in London, as well as others - not just around Europe but also in Washington and Tokyo.
What is the Format for "Brussels for Breakfast”?
The format consists of an overview by Graham Bishop on his selection of events since the last Brussels for Breakfast. He is accompanied by another speaker, usually from a Brussels think tank or government affairs consultancy. These comments should progressively draw in comment (and argument) from the other experts in that particular field. The key is that it is not a lengthy solo speech by Graham Bishop. Participants welcome the general sharing of views and information as audience response is an integral part of the success. They contribute detailed technical expertise from their own particular area so that everyone is enlightened. Graham Bishop moderates the discussion for about one-and-a-half hours by reviewing the main events in EU financial services policy (characterised as “Brussels”) - both as major themes and specific pieces of legislative activity.
Guests represent a wide spread of market participants from the financial services industry and professional support services (banks, insurance, money managers, lawyers, accountants, etc.). Experience shows that a leavening of public sector participants (FCA, Bank of England and HM Treasury) helps to create the atmosphere of a real policy debate. This induces an interaction between all the participants and that contributes to a lively discussion – precisely because the audience is well informed in their individual areas, but they want to hear from people they know to be equally expert in other fields, thus rounding out their knowledge of Brussels developments.