No regulatory race to bottom after Brexit says FCA chair

UK insurers and banks do not want to see a regulatory race to the bottom after Brexit, chair of the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) Charles Randell said this week.

In his first major speech since becoming FCA chair in April, Mr Randall told a Reuters Newsmaker event that insurers and banks do not want to see regulation ripped up after Brexit.

Some politicians and lawmakers want to see the UK become a light-touch regulatory environment if and when the UK leaves the EU. But Mr Randall said insurers and banks he speaks with do not want to go down this path.

“I don’t think any of the financial services firms I meet want to try to win business through a regulatory race to the bottom,” he said. He added that financial services firms believe the “quality kitemark” delivered by current UK regulation is an important selling point on the global stage.

He also stressed that the UK will continue to meet global regulatory standards under his watch post-Brexit.

“It will be my intention to make sure that we redouble our efforts to engage with global standard-setters because I think that will be necessary in a world after we’ve left the EU,” he said.

But Mr Randall also suggested that the current pace of regulatory change since the financial crisis is unsustainable and that a more measured approach might bear more fruit.

“We need to make sure that the pace of regulatory change is carefully managed, given all the other pressures on firms’ business models,” said Mr Randall.

“If we do see a slower pace of regulatory change, there may be scope to spend a bit more time examining the consequences [of] regulation [we] have had… and whether all the regulation has served the purpose it was originally intended to serve,” he added.

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