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11 September 2017

Graham Bishop's evidence to House of Lords EU Committee – Financial Affairs on Financial Regulation and Supervision following Brexit

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Graham Bishop's Evidence for this Enquiry focusses on the issues of “adequately aligned regulation and financial stability”, given the international influence from the FSB and BCBS. It relates principally to Questions 2, 6, 14 and 15.


  • The current EU regulatory proposals flow from global standards initiated and strongly influenced by the UK, and consistently supported by UK Prime Ministers at the G20. If the proposals were NOT positive for financial stability, then the UK Government should have opposed them for the last decade and requested the Governor of the Bank of England to cease chairing the Financial Stability Board – the key co-ordinating body.  
  • The direction of travel of the EU regulatory framework - paradoxically now as a result of Brexit - is strongly towards a single capital markets supervisor and more. The Commission’s Reflection Paper in May laid out the roadmap. Elections over the past year have shown a rise in support for the EU so by the December meeting of the European Council (or possibly March 2018), the EU27 Heads of Government will have a fresh mandate from their peoples to press forward with greater regulatory integration at the European level.
  • The sheer magnitude of a potential CCP failure could de-stabilise the EU27’s financial, economic and eventually political systems – a massive infringement of their sovereignty by the UK if the failing CCP were regulated and supervised by the UK.
  • Can any mere “supervisory co-operation” deal with such a huge risk? Even with the UK as a full EU member, the post-Referendum ECB location policy only commented on “information exchange and close cooperation” with the BoE, rather than the power to “induce change”.
  • Reflecting the example of CCPs carrying massive systemic risk, it is extremely difficult to see how a robust transitional deal can be in place until long after the UK has left the EU. In practice, there seems to be no plausible alternative to the proverbial cliff in March 2019.
  • What if the boot were on the other foot? Would Leavers accept as entirely reasonable that the UK’s financial system were effectively run from say Paris - but with liability on UK taxpayers?
  • As the penny drops in the next few months about the implausibility of transition, relocation decisions may suddenly take on an urgent life of their own and become unstoppable. The outlook for the UK financial services industry has been darkening steadily since the Brexit vote but the autumn may see the pace of darkening quicken rapidly.

© Graham Bishop

Documents associated with this article

Evidence to House of Lords EU Committee_Aug 2017.pdf

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