💰 Reforming the norm

In today's email, we've got:

  • the latest changes to UK finance regulation

  • how you can become an apprentice and still qualify as a lawyer

  • someone taking court action over cheese

If you take just one thing from this email... 

The government has recently announced a number of reforms, called the 'Edinburgh Reforms', to financial services regulation in the UK. The reforms are stripping back EU laws and handing the reigns over to regulators. This could be a risky move, leaving consumers less protected. But it could also give the industry greater flexibility, and so more room for growth, allowing the UK to retain its competitive edge in financial services.

EDITOR'S RAMBLE 🗣

There's less than two weeks until Christmas! I don't know about you but I'm currently at full swing festive mode.

On that note, I succumbed to the Christmas capitalism this weekend and indulged in a Velvetiser (a hot chocolate system by Hotel Chocolat).

It is INCREDIBLE.

Liquid chocolate (with a cheeky dash of baileys if you're feeling naughty)... you cannot beat it. 

So if you're struggling for Christmas gifts this year, or you just want to indulge, I would highly recommend.* 

- Connor

*This is not sponsored content by the way. I'm just a big kid and love that I can make fancy hot chocolates. 🍫  But... Hotel Chocolat if you're reading this, I would happily say just about anything for some free sachets. Worth thinking about.

FEATURED REPORT 📰

💰 Reforming the Norm

Credit: Giphy

What's going on here?

The government has recently announced a number of reforms, called the 'Edinburgh Reforms', to financial services regulation in the UK. 

What does this mean?

These reforms have come from Jeremy Hunt, the current Chancellor of Exchequer. He claims that these reforms will "turbocharge" growth and ensure that London remains competitive in the financial services sector, an area that the UK has always been strong in.

What does this have to do with Brexit?

At first glance, it appears the two are completely separate. However, Hunt has said that these plans seize the benefits of Brexit, and would not have been possible if we were still part of the European Union.  

The reforms look to repeal the "burdensome" pieces of legislation that have been left over by EU laws. In their place will come regulator-set rules. This allows the government and regulators to shape their own future in the industry and their influence will no doubt place growth first. This approach is known as a 'lift and shift'. 

It is hoped that by doing this, the UK will be seen as an attractive place to do business and help London retain its strength in the financial services sector. 

What is the biggest change to come from this?

Although there were a total of 30 announcements that form part of the Edinburgh Reforms, the change that is causing the most debate is the reform to the ring-fencing regime.

Ring-fencing is where banks have to separate core retail banking services from their investment and international banking activities. This was brought in to ensure stability as, by separating the two aspects of banking, regular banking customers would be shielded from the often unpredictable world of speculative finance and investment banking.

The changes that are being made to this regime include:

  • removing banking groups without major investment banking operation out of the regime entirely,

  • increasing the retail deposits threshold for the ring-fencing regime from £25bn to £35bn, and

  • allowing ring-fenced banks to take part in more financial activities, giving them greater flexibility.

What impact will the reforms have?

Some think they're an unsafe watering down of well-established (and consumer-focused) regulatory laws. Others think they're accelerating innovation and growth in the financial services industry. The general consensus, at least at this early stage, seems to be that they're a step in the right direction. 

Although the UK has always had a strong reputation when it comes to financial services, our competitive edge has started to wane over the last decade. This has been, in part, due to the EU laws which have stifled growth, both through not being able to attract the best talent (through caps on bonuses) and because of rules which force companies to hold capital and make no use of it. 

By seizing on the opportunities that are now available post Brexit, it is hoped that the UK can regain its edge and re-establish itself as one of the most competitive players in the game. 

 A BIT OF FUN 😄

The oncoming threat of AI...

IN OTHER NEWS 🗞

  • 🏫 Linklaters is launching its new Solicitor Apprenticeship scheme: The Magic Circle's new programme offers a different route into a career in law. It will offer apprentices six years of training, in which they will learn on the job and take part in some law degree studies (for about 20% of the time). Linklaters will take six candidates on this scheme starting in September 2023.

  • 💰 The FCA issues a £108m fine to Santander: The fine comes after Santander was found to have "serious and persistent gaps" in its anti-money laundering practices. Millions of pounds pass through Santander, and the FCA found that suspicious transactions were not being flagged and investigated. The fine was originally going to be even more (£154m) but Santander were able to get a reduction as they agreed not to dispute the FCA's findings.

  • 🎮 The US wants to block Microsoft's acquisition of gaming company Activision Blizzard: The Federal Trade Commission (the independent agent of the US government which polices competition or 'antitrust' law) filed a case against the acquisition. The FTC is worried that Microsoft may make Activision Blizzard's games only playable on Microsoft products (at best, suppressing competition and, at worst, bringing about a gaming monopoly).

AROUND THE WEB 🌐

  • 💻📖 Type + Read: This website lets you practice typing but with classic literature instead of random words or passages. You can improve your typing speed and read a great book at the same time.

  • 📈 Finance made easier: Commercial awareness isn’t just knowing about the financial markets - but knowing a bit about them can help. This daily email makes understanding the financial markets easy and enjoyable.*

  • 🧀 Cheesy: The creator of TGI Fridays' "Mozarrella Sticks" has been sued over only including cheddar, not mozzarella, in the recipe.

* This is an affiliate link. Although it is free to join, if you sign up through us, we will receive a small commission. 

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