‘Brexit’ could have serious implications for consumer protection and how financial markets are regulated in the UK. How much UK consumer legislation and regulation is affected will depend on which form Brexit takes, which could range from ‘Brexit-lite’ to a ‘hard-Brexit’. Risks would mainly arise if access to the single market in financial services is lost or severely curtailed. Remaining in the single market would require most, if not all, of current EU-derived law to stay in place. Depending on the outcome, we see two key risks emerging.
Firstly, the financial sector already argues disingenuously that the current system of financial regulation stifles innovation and competition. Industry lobbyists will capitalise on the opportunity provided by Brexit to lobby for deregulation and a weakening in consumer protection in financial services.
Secondly, if access to EU markets end up being reduced, the City of London will seek to offset this by attracting additional business from other international financial markets. On the face of it, this could be beneficial for the UK economy. But, the economic and social costs of the 2007/08 financial crisis provided a painful reminder of the risks associated with an over-reliance on financial services. The UK financial sector is already one of the biggest in the world and if the UK’s exposure to international financial markets is increased, this could further threaten the stability of the UK financial system and resilience of the wider economy.
There are big choices to be made and well-resourced financial services industry lobbies are already actively trying to influence the course of Brexit. It is important that consumer groups and civil society understand the potential consequences of Brexit.
With this in mind, The Financial Inclusion Centre is providing seminars for consumer groups, civil society organisations, and other stakeholders including journalists looking for a deeper understanding of Brexit implications.
The seminars cover the framework of EU legislation, the UK’s current approach to implementing EU legislation and, critically, what the implications of various Brexit scenarios might be for UK financial consumers and financial market regulation.
The one day seminars are led by Mick McAteer, one of the UK’s best known consumer advocates with 20 years experience representing UK financial consumers at UK and EU level, and John Crosthwait, previously a senior lawyer with one the leading law firms in the City and a specialist in financial services law and regulation.
Seminars can be organised for individual organisations or provided on a group basis.
The seminar programme can be found here: financial-inclusion-centre-brexit-seminars
For further information including on costs please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org