Brexit’s Impact on Financial Services

Financial Institutions

July 5, 2016

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Financial services is possibly the policy area where Brexit will have the strongest impact. The City of London is the largest financial centre in Europe; many financial firms offer their services from their London base, making use of “passporting” rights granted through European legislation, which are now clearly at risk.

As a result of being the financial heart of Europe, the UK has historically been deeply involved in shaping financial markets policies and pushing further financial markets integration, due to their great interest, expertise and resources devoted to this particular area. This is the case in terms of the European legislative work, where the responsible European Commissioner for financial services was the British Commissioner Lord Hill.

The strong British influence is also felt at the regulatory level. The European Supervisory Authorities (European Securities and Markets Authority, European Banking Authority, European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority) define the finer details of financial legislation and have grown in relevance since their inception in 2010. The UK plays a strong role in these authorities in terms of their technical input, physical resources and market expertise. Decreasing UK influence in the ESAs as a result of Brexit could have significant effects on the final content of legislation as well as on the way European supervisors agree to apply the rules.


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