Don’t make regulators cheerleaders for finance, say UK campaign groups

The City of London financial district is seen in London, Britain October 22, 2021. REUTERS/Hannah McKay

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LONDON, Feb 4 (Reuters) – Britain must abandon plans to make regulators “cheerleaders” of global finance and focus instead on promoting financial inclusion at home, officials said on Friday. consumer advocacy groups.

The Treasury is reviewing financial regulation following Britain’s departure from the European Union and has proposed giving the Bank of England and the Financial Conduct Authority a secondary objective of promoting the international competitiveness of finance .

“Asking regulators to take on this task risks eroding their independence,” the 37 campaign groups and charities said in a joint statement.

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“A balanced contribution from industry and civil society advocates, with regulators acting in the public interest and maintaining their independence, is more likely to produce well-designed regulation that delivers better results.”

Charities include the Center for Responsible Credit, Financial Inclusion Centre, Greenpeace, Stamp out Poverty, Positive money, Tax Justice System and Finance Innovation Lab.

Financial rules were written in Brussels when Britain was a member of the EU, and some lawmakers want the UK to use Brexit ‘freedoms’ to loosen rules in one of Europe’s biggest sectors. British export.

Brexit means the industry has been largely cut off from the bloc, which is now a competitor.

The Treasury has said Britain will meet high international standards and not revert to the “lightweight” regime before the 2007-09 global financial crisis when taxpayers bailed out Britain’s banks.

The finance should help Britain meet its carbon neutral targets and ‘get on the level’, which means reducing wealth disparities between regions, the charities have said, adding there should be a legal obligation for regulators to promote financial inclusion.

There should also be mandatory registration of all lobbyists and regular reporting on their activities, they added.

“Now that the financial crisis is over a decade behind us, banking lobbyists are campaigning for a relaxation of the very regulations designed to protect our money,” Vince Cable, a former business minister, said in the joint statement.

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Reporting by Huw Jones Editing by Mark Potter

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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