Saturday, October 8, 2016

Oliver Wyman's Brexit Analysis is Straight Out of the Project Fear Playbook

While the report contains some useful information, it only considers one side of the debate. Osbourne's Treasury would be proud of it.

Brexit presents risks but there are also opportunities. We may disagree which outweigh the other, but the referendum is over and the country voted to leave. We must now put our best minds together and work to realise these opportunities as well as mitigate those risks.

Rather than rehashing the debate, we would rather support organisations such as the Financial Services Negotiation Forum. The FSN Forum is bringing Leavers and Remainers together with the goal of producing evidence-based research that can provide our negotiators with the information necessary to maximise their effectiveness at the negotiating table.

Oliver Wyman's recent report for TheCityUK on Brexit is a relic of the referendum debate. They have made a reasonable job of analysing the current contribution of Financial Services to the country's coffers (albeit with disagreement over numbers - their estimate 1.05m employees conflicts starkly with TheCityUK's own estimate of 2.2m). They have also managed to acknowledge opportunities for the Financial Services industry post-Brexit arising from the "new networks of trade and investment agreements that the UK will negotiate with its partners", although these were only given a couple of small paragraphs.

Disappointingly, they made no effort to quantify these opportunities or include them in their scenarios.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Our Top Ten Articles for Brexit

There has certainly been a lot of noise in this debate and one complaint we hear often from voters is the lack of facts and information - from all sides.

However, amongst all the chatter there have been some standout arguments, and a few fantastic speeches, so here is our Top Ten. Let us know what you think we have left out.

If you are still undecided, please follow any of the links below and see if that helps you make up your mind.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Fear not Brexit - Gavekal Research

By Charles Gave, Gavekal Research

The UK political class is all in a flutter as the latest European Union referendum polls show an apparent rising tide of support for “Leave”. Having orchestrated the great and good into warning of catastrophe should a Brexit materialize, it would seem that “project fear” is not cutting through. I tend to have strong political convictions and perhaps for this reason I have a lousy record of guesstimating election outcomes. Since the UK referendum debate started, I always felt that the Brits would vote to leave, so no one would be more surprised if I was for once proven right.

City's Euro clearing jobs at risk within the EU

Whilst the threat to move Euro clearing from London to Frankfurt might come under the heading of "usual scaremongering", it is realistic - but only if we stay in the EU.

The UK won its case against the ECB's last attempt to make clearing outside of the Eurozone unprofitable, but it did so on a technicality and the court went to great lengths to show the ECB how to fix that technicality. Once the ECB does as the EU Court suggests, it a can prevent the UK from acting a second time to save Euro clearing in London.

The ECB, however, can only use EU law against London if we remain in the EU. Once the UK is free of the shackles of EU law, the ECB's attempt to rule over us will be history.

Then we can continue to clear Euros just as we clear US Dollars.

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Why fund managers are backing Brexit

The City needs to repeal and revise damaging overregulation and open its doors to global talent in order to stay ahead of competitors in New York and Asia. European financial markets will continue to be focused on the City post-Brexit and Britain will become a hedge against continued Euro turbulence for investors into Europe.

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Six reasons why remaining in the EU will be bad for pensions

By Professor David Blake, Director, Pensions Institute, Cass Business School

There are at least six reasons why remaining in the EU will be bad for pensions:

Redistribution of UK Contribution to EU Budget Post-Brexit

By Kent Matthews, Economists for Brexit

Professor Stephen Hawking, the UK’s most distinguished scientist, along with many other science worthies, have argued in that increased funding from Europe has greatly benefited science in the UK and that leaving the EU would be a “disaster” for UK science. Similar letters of support for remaining in the EU have been written by various lobby groups quoting the funds they receive from the EU.

It is critical for all recipients of ‘EU funds’ to understand that the UK pays for all of this, not the EU!

The EU's Financial Transaction Tax will hurt the City.

As Europe’s, and arguable the world’s, leading centre for Financial Services, it is dismaying that at almost every opportunity the UK’s Financial Services industry is targeted by those EU states wishing to put a check on its influence. Many of these measures are ill-thought through and are political decisions not financial ones, whether they be short selling bans, bonus caps, and the huge amount of EU-sourced regulation which stifles innovation and competitiveness as opposed to enhancing it. Another such measure is the Financial Services Transaction Tax (FTT) whose implementation in some form looks more and more certain.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Read this if you are worried about the City after Brexit

The City will continue to enjoy access to the EU after Brexit thanks to a new provision in the upcoming MiFID2 regulations. Anyone thinking about relocating needs to read on...

MiFID2, which comes into effect on 1st January 2018, allows a financial institution outside of the EU to provide cross-border services into the EU. To do so they must register with ESMA, and to qualify for this their domestic regulations must be deemed "equivalent" to those of ESMA.

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Why I will Vote Leave: Risk, Reward and Misinformation

We've asked our campaigners to share the reasons they have decided to Vote Leave...

The more informed I have become, the more alarmed I am about what remaining in the EU really means. The more I understand, the more I see how disingenuous the misinformation flow has been and how at risk the City really is. If you work here, I hope this assessment of the issues will bring more clarity.

Firstly, we all want the City to continue to prosper and thrive – not only for the people that depend on us, for ourselves, and for our employers, but also for something less tangible: namely, that the City is the heart of international finance, and the pulse of London.  

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Why I will Vote Leave: The Risks of Staying within the EU

We've asked our campaigners to share the reasons they have decided to Vote Leave...

Nobody is talking about the risks of staying within the EU. Now is the time to do so.

As we are into the last month of the campaign, we must examine certain aspects which have not been focused on sufficiently so far. Much of the debate today has centred about the risks of leaving the European Union and there has been a lot of confusion in the minds of the public about the veracity and logic of the statements made by both sides of the debate. There are several things to consider.

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Passporting, Equivalence and The City's Access to Europe Post-Brexit

One question we are often asked concerns the City's access to Europe after Brexit. Happily, the upcoming MIFIDII regulations provide a solution in the form of equivalence for what it terms ‘third country firms.’

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Brexit Could Create 200,000 Financial Jobs

Bloomberg 23 May 2016

Britain could add 25 billion pounds ($36 billion) to London’s economic output and create more than 200,000 jobs in financial services by 2020 if voters choose to leave the European Union, according to campaigners.

The 28 nation trading bloc hurts economic growth in the City of London and is preparing tougher rules to undermine the capital’s position as the top global business hub in Europe, Steven Woolfe, the U.K. Independence Party’s financial affairs spokesman, and Conservative party lawmaker John Redwood said in speeches on Monday, according to a statement.

Full story here.

Voting to Remain is the biggest gamble we can take with our future

In my job as a private client Wealth Manager, I am often asked at the dinner table what the difference between ‘gambling’ and ‘investing’ is? The answer for me has always been clear. Gambling is allocating money to something based on chance, where the lure of a big reward outweighs the fact you have no control over the outcome. It is also debatable whether society benefits in any way from gambling. Investing, on the other hand, is something where one can make an informed decision about allocating your capital to those that need it, and is often taken in the context of many other informed decisions which helps control the overall range of outcomes. With investing, there is almost always a clear benefit to society, whether it is job creation, tax creation, widget creation, wealth creation….I could go on.

Similarly, the In/Out Referendum is one that presents me with a clear choice between an investment and a gamble.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

The City's Increased Influence Outside the EU

Though opinions differed at the time, few would now disagree that Britain's decision in 1999 to stay out of the Euro was the right choice. Furthermore, with the Eurozone crisis still in full swing some seven years on, for Britain to join now is rightly seen as political and economic folly and is to all intents and purposes off the table.

Still, the core of the EU is the Eurozone, and any financial reform and integration will naturally focus on the interests of this bloc. Currently 19 out of 28 EU countries use the Euro, with a further seven obliged to join after the convergence criteria are met. By population this is 66% of the EU now and will be 85% after the other seven have joined. The UK represents 13% the remaining 15% and so is vastly outnumbered under the Qualified Majority Voting mechanism of the Council of the EU. The Eurozone has a permanent majority.

Hammersmith Rally on Tue 31 May

Vote Leave is holding a rally at Hammersmith Town Hall on Tuesday 31st May, 7pm.

Headline speakers include Daniel Hannan MEP, Lord Owen, Douglas Carswell MP and Graham Stringer MP.

You can sign up for it here.

Friday, May 6, 2016

The Debate Continues - Tuesday 10th May at LCC

5:30 pm, Tuesday 10th May, London Capital Club, Tavern Bar

With just 44 days left to go, the London Capital Club will be hosting another in their series of debates.

Guest Speakers from Britain Stronger In and Vote Leave will be debating the issues that matter to those who live and work in the City.

Friday, April 29, 2016

100+ City Bosses Declare Support for Vote Leave

A group of prominent city leaders have joined together to voice their support for Vote Leave on June 23rd.

In a letter signed by more than a hundred signatories, including Peter Cruddas, Michael Geoghegan, Luke Johnson, Peter Hargreaves, Moorad Choudhry and Paul Marshall, the group argues that the City would:

  • prosper outside the EU,
  • strengthen its lead as the world's largest international financial centre, and
  • continue to make a major contribution to the UK economy and employment

without the threat the EU poses to our financial services industry.

The Letter reads:

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

The UK Referendum: An Easy Guide to Leaving the EU by Dr Gerard Lyons

Dr Gerard Lyons, economic advisor to Boris Johnson, has just published an eBook entitled "The UK Referendum: an Easy Guide to Leaving the EU".

It's a quick read that sets out a comprehensive framework for any debate you might have with friends or family about the referendum. You'll soon find yourself making copious notes and running all over the internet to dig deeper into the topics and challenges Dr Lyons lays out.

Well worth downloading.

Monday, April 25, 2016

"Gang of Eight" leading economists in favour of Brexit

Leading economists have launched a pro-Brexit group, arguing that Britain will be economically better off it votes to leave the European Union.
The eight analysts, led by Margaret Thatcher’s adviser Patrick Minford, said that they planned to counter the “hyperbole, misguided speculation and economic illiteracy of the Project Fear campaign”. 
They argue that a vote to leave would result in prices falling by 8 per cent, export competitiveness jumping 5 per cent, 4 per cent growth in GDP and unemployment falling by another 75,000 over the next five years.

This contrasts strongly to the Treasury's 200 page report last week, which the Gang of Eight criticise for overlooking what they see as the main element of the case for leaving - the abolition of the common external trade policy.

Join the Debate at The Great British Break Off Tuesday 26th April

5:30 pm, Tuesday 26th April, London Capital Club, Tavern Bar

Guest Speakers from the remain and leave sides including Graham Bishop, EU Consultant on  EU Integration: Political, Financial, Economic and Budgetary. Stewart Paterson, Asian Equity Fund Manager.

Risk and Reward - Why the UK is always swimming against the EU tide

Benjamin Wrench is a barrister who has specialised in financial services regulation since 1997. You may know him as the author of "Risk and Reward - Why the EU Separates Risk from Reward and What this Means for The City".

If you don't have the time to read the whole publication, you can find a neat summary of the key points in this CityAM post.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

The City's Good News Post Brexit

Following a vote for Brexit, we will see a more competitive City, freed from the burden of excessive over-regulation, open to the world for business, thriving as it develops global markets, able to better compete with New York, Hong Kong, Singapore and Tokyo.

We list below some of the key questions for The City.

Sixty-two days to go!

With just 62 days to go until the EU Referendum, we have launched this blog to provide and collate information particularly relevant to those who live and work in the City of London.

We'll be publishing a list of debates and events, as well as thought-pieces on some of the more common concerns expressed by workers in the financial services industry.

We believe that the interests of The City will be best served by a relationship based on free trade and friendly cooperation and that the City will prosper following a Vote Leave.