Britain’s opposition Labour Party has announced a review aimed at boosting growth in the country’s financial sector as it prepares for an upcoming election. The party’s financial services spokesperson, Tulip Siddiq, stated that finance is one of Britain’s “greatest assets” and that Labour is committed to unleashing its full potential and reinforcing the City of London’s role as a global financial center.
Siddiq emphasized the importance of long-term stability and clear policy direction from the next government, stating that it is a message she has repeatedly heard from the City. This move by Labour is seen as an attempt to reassure the financial sector, which has expressed concerns about the party’s past hostility towards businesses.
Both Labour and the current government are facing financial constraints and are relying heavily on private money and pensions to fund infrastructure, company growth, and clean technology. The UK has already undergone a comprehensive review of financial rules following Brexit, known as the “Edinburgh Reforms,” which included over 30 public consultations on changes to listing rules and insurers’ capital requirements, among other reforms.
However, lawmakers have expressed dissatisfaction with the pace of implementation of these reforms, with concerns that too few changes have been made and those that have had little impact. The City of London is also facing increased competition from financial centers in the European Union, including Frankfurt, Paris, and Amsterdam, since the UK’s departure from the EU.
Labour leader Keir Starmer, Tulip Siddiq, and other party officials met with representatives from the financial sector in Edinburgh on Friday to discuss these issues. The meeting marked one year since the “Edinburgh Reforms” were outlined by finance minister Jeremy Hunt.
The Labour review will be conducted by an advisory panel consisting of prominent figures from the financial sector, including David Schwimmer, CEO of the London Stock Exchange Group; Elizabeth Corley, Chair of Schroders; Nigel Higgins, Chair of Barclays Group; Ron Kalifa, director at the Bank of England; John Kingman, Chair of Legal & General Group; and Shriti Vadera, Chair of insurer Prudential. The review, with support from consultants Oliver Wyman, will focus on five key areas: capital markets, competitiveness, consumer protection, innovation, and sustainability.
The panel’s final report is expected to be launched in early 2024 and will help shape Labour’s election manifesto. Labour is projected to win the upcoming election according to polls, and this review is seen as part of the party’s broader strategy to position itself favorably with the financial sector and business community.
More detail via Reuters here… ( Image via Reuters )