Anniversary of Edinburgh Reforms marks further progress

  • Proposals to help support consumers in their financial decision-making will be the next step in Edinburgh's reforms, as Economy Secretary Bim Afolami visits the city to mark one year since their launch.
  • Based on the progress made, this marks the implementation of reform number 22 of the 31, with plans underway to implement the last nine reforms.
  • The inaugural Scottish-London Financial Services Forum takes place as the Minister also meets with Morgan Stanley in Glasgow.

Economic Secretary to the Treasury, Bim Afolami, today (December 8) announces new changes to financial services as he marks the anniversary of the Edinburgh Reforms with a two-day trip to Scotland.

In the year since the launch of the Edinburgh reforms, the government has already implemented 22 of the 31 reforms, including legislation that will overhaul the regulation of prospectuses in the UK, the information available to investors when a company raises capital and introducing secondary legislation to take advantage of the UK's new regulatory freedoms since leaving the EU through the implementation of the Wholesale Markets Review reforms. These changes mean the government is delivering on its ambition for the UK to be the most innovative and competitive global financial center in the world.

Building on the reforms, the government and the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has today published a policy paper as part of the joint Guidance and Advice Limits Review, outlining initial proposals for reform to help improve consumer access to financial decision support. Currently, there is an "advice gap" between holistic financial advice that is unaffordable for many and guidance that is free to access but not personal to the consumer. This excludes people with modest investments, leaving them without the tools necessary to reap the significant benefits offered by our world-leading financial services sector.

The government also published today its response to the call for proposals, which requested views on additional metrics that the FCA and the Prudential Regulation Authority should report on this, as part of the work to incorporate their new growth and competitiveness objectives. Regulators have agreed to publish a series of new metrics that will support scrutiny of their work.

The Economic Secretary to the Treasury, Bim Afolami, said today:

“My number one priority in this role is to deliver the Edinburgh reforms. The reforms have demonstrated the UK's dedication to fostering a sound, innovative and robust financial landscape: over the past year we have made significant progress towards creating an environment that supports economic growth, openness and the wellbeing of savers.

“Businesses around the world are already taking note of the UK’s approach and we will continue to implement our reforms as we make the UK the best place in the world to create and grow a business.”

Miles Celic, CEO of TheCityUK, said:

“The Edinburgh Reforms – and the subsequent Mansion House Reforms – were a positive sign of the government's commitment to maintaining the UK's competitiveness as a leading international financial centre. As we progress this important reform agenda, it is essential that government, industry and regulators work together to drive the implementation of reforms and generate economic growth at a national level by reinforcing the attractiveness of the UK as a place to list, invest, innovate and scale."

The Minister also held a series of asset management and fintech roundtables in Edinburgh and visited Morgan Stanley's offices in Glasgow. Since 2000, Morgan Stanley's office has grown from just six people to now employing more than 1,400 people. Edinburgh is currently the UK's largest financial services center outside London, worth more than £14 billion to the UK economy and employing around 136,000 people.

Today also marks the first Scotland-London FS forum, chaired by the Chancellor of the Economy in Edinburgh, which emphasizes the Government's commitment to economic growth and the importance of the Scottish financial sector in supporting it.

In the recent Autumn Statement, the Chancellor announced further progress in delivering on the commitments of the Edinburgh and Mansion House Reforms, including ambitious steps to increase the flow of capital to promising growth companies while improving outcomes for investors. savers and measures to improve the regulatory environment for UK financial services. .

This is the Economy Secretary's first trip to Scotland since his appointment, he stated:

“Edinburgh is a key part of our financial services landscape and it was very important for me to come and see the excellent work being done here during the first month of my appointment. “Scotland is known for its innovation and ingenuity and I am sure this will be the first of many such visits.”

Sandy Begbie CBE FRSEChief executive of Scottish Financial Enterprise, said:

“We are delighted to welcome the Chancellor of the Treasury to Edinburgh for the launch of our new UK Government forum, another important recognition of the vital contribution of Scotland’s financial services industry to the UK economy.

“The forum will be an opportunity to discuss our new sector growth strategy, which aims to leverage our global leadership in areas such as asset management, fintech and green and sustainable finance, building on our strong foundations in banking, life and pensions. and wealth, and unlock our expertise in data, artificial intelligence and emerging technologies.

“It is also an opportunity to share our thoughts on the Edinburgh reforms, a year after they were announced here. The reforms aim to build on the government's vision for UK financial services to be an open, sustainable and technologically advanced global hub providing services to all parts of the UK and its communities.

“Our sector growth strategy is closely aligned with this vision and recognizes the UK’s globally respected regulatory environment as an asset we must leverage to attract more investment and jobs to Scotland.”

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