Access to global talent 'a priority for financial services'

TheCitiUK report on Brexit and the financial services industry calls for regulatory and supervisory cooperation, the need for clear transitional arrangements and continued UK access to top talent.

Access to global talent 'a priority for financial services'

Mark Towning,

The UK and European Union must reach a Brexit deal for financial services that delivers mutual market access and access to talent from across the world, according to a report on Tuesday from a leading City of London lobby group.TheCityUK report also calls for clear transitional arrangements to allow for enough time to implement an emerging relationship that will create opportunities for "new networks of trade and investment agreements, the creation of Sharia-compliant central bank liquidity facilities and FinTech".Miles Celic, chief executive of TheCityUK, said: "There is no question that getting Brexit right is a once-in-a-generation challenge. If there is anywhere in the world which has the necessary knowledge and expertise to get this done, it is here in the world’s leading financial and related professional services hub."The industry has been working closely with the government to help identify key priorities for the negotiations. We have been clear to stress these should include interim arrangements, access to global talent and expertise, and a bespoke deal based on mutual recognition and regulatory cooperation. Ultimately, the best Brexit deal will be one that reduces uncertainty and enables businesses to continue to best serve customers and clients."
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While it seems likely that a post-Brexit Britain will lose the existing 'passporting rights' that enable the UK's financial services to trade freely throughout Europe, the report says that, in order to preserve global markets and maintain the flow of financial services, "it is clearly in the interests of both the UK and the EU to ensure continued deep and ongoing regulatory and supervisory cooperation between authorities across the globe".It adds: "Where appropriate, harmonised approaches should be maintained to avoid businesses trading and operating in the UK and the EU having to comply with different, and possibly conflicting, regulatory obligations. Similarly, cross-border regulatory recognition which allows UK firms to provide professional services, such as audit, to EU companies should be agreed."The report points out that the UK is the world's largest exporter of financial services, with exports worth £77.5 billion in 2015. The sector employs more than 2.2 million people and accounts for more than a tenth of UK tax receipts.
On access to talent, the report says: "The unequalled pool of global talent and expertise assembled in the UK is a major competitive advantage across the UK-based financial and related professional services industry and many others."To retain its status as the leading global financial centre, the UK needs continued access to the best talent: home-grown, from across the EU and from the rest of the world. This is also critical to the UK’s future strength as a successful exporter and provider of low cost capital to Europe."TheCityUK adds that, as well as policies to improve skills relevant to business success for UK citizens, reassurance about the status of EU citizens and their families currently working in the UK should be given "urgently".It adds: "UK immigration policy should be designed to broaden the future pool of international talent that the industry can access. This is particularly true for specialist roles and for attracting future talent from universities and business schools. It must also facilitate intra-company transfers of staff between different locations around the world."

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