Edinburgh reforms: Chancellor Jeremy Hunt seizes on “Brexit freedoms” to overhaul banking rules

The Government has launched a raft of major reforms to the financial sector to replace EU regulation and cut red tape.

Chancellor Jeremy Hunt said the so-called “Edinburgh Reforms” will seize on “Brexit freedoms” to overhaul banking rules.

They include a package of more than 30 regulatory reforms which he claims will “turbocharge” growth in towns and cities across the UK.

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The moves will loosen banking rules introduced after the 2008 financial crisis, which saw some UK banks face potential collapse.

Chancellor Jeremy Hunt said the so-called “Edinburgh Reforms” will seize on “Brexit freedoms” to overhaul banking rules.

On Friday, the Chancellor revealed the shake-up will include a commitment to make “substantial legislative progress” on repealing and replacing the Solvency II directive next year, which is expected to unlock more than £100 billion of private investment, according to the Treasury.

He also promised to reform the UK prospectus regime to support stock market listings and capital raises, reforming rules on real estate investment trusts and reviewing provisions on investment research in the UK.

The Chancellor has also issued new remit letters to the Financial Conduct Authority and Prudential Regulation Authority emphasising the new secondary competitiveness objectives. Regulators will have a duty to facilitate, subject to aligning with relevant international standards, the international competitiveness of the UK economy and its growth in the medium to long term.

The Chancellor said: “We are committed to securing the UK’s status as one of the most open, dynamic and competitive financial services hubs in the world.

“The Edinburgh Reforms seize on our Brexit freedoms to deliver an agile and homegrown regulatory regime that works in the interest of British people and our businesses.

“And we will go further – delivering reform of burdensome EU laws that choke off growth in other industries such as digital technology and life sciences.”

Economic Secretary to the Treasury, Andrew Griffith said: “The UK is a financial services superpower – and we have long benefited from, and are committed to, high quality regulatory standards.

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“Scotland’s role in maintaining our status as the global benchmark for regulation is crucial - with Edinburgh and Glasgow the two largest UK hubs outside of London.

“Our reforms deliver smarter regulation of financial services that will unlock growth and opportunity in towns and cities across the UK.”