18th April 2017

BBA Brief – 18 April 2017

Breaking news: election announcement

UK Prime Minister Theresa May has called for a snap election on June 8 2017 to secure ‘strong and stable leadership’ to see the UK through ‘Brexit and beyond’ (BBC News, online).

Labour oppose high street bank closures

Labour will oppose the ‘epidemic’ of high street bank branch closures by introducing ‘legal obligations’, The Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell has said (The Independent, online). New bank laws will ensure banks retain a high street presence to help small businesses and customers in vulnerable circumstances. BBA’s Managing Director for Retail Eric Leenders said there has been a ‘digital revolution’ in the way we bank, however the decision to close a bank branch is ‘never taken lightly’ and banks are working in partnership with the Post Office to ‘make face-to-face banking available.’

Brexit discussions continue

The location of the London-based European Banking Authority post-Brexit remains undecided and will be ‘subject to exit negotiations’, the UK government has said (Reuters, online). Meanwhile, the German Chamber of Commerce and Industry has warned German companies located in the UK that they may be required to ‘make back’ tax payments after Brexit (FAZ, online). Despite skepticism from members of the European Parliament’s trade committee during ongoing discussions, International Trade Secretary Dr. Liam Fox has insisted that the UK will participate fully in EU talks up until such point that the UK’s membership ends (The Sun, online).

Glass-Steagall Act 2.0

Thomas Hoenig, vice-chairman of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, has proposed a ‘third way compromise’ in an effort to restore the Glass-Steagall law and financial deregulation (Financial Times, £, p4). Hoenig has proposed a ‘watered down version’ of the law inspired by UK ringfencing rules due to come into effect in 2019, that separate retail and investment banking activities.

Latest from the BBA

Matthew Herbert, BBA Director of Strategy and Digital, blogs on what makes good Fintech, and how industry and regulators can measure it.

Sophie Westmoreland, BearingPoint Marketing Manager, blogs on the potential for adopting an industry-wide reporting utility in the UK.

Simon Hills, BBA Executive Director, Prudential Regulation and Risk, blogs on the PRA’s proposal to allow banks to use external data to model loss given default.

Wednesday 26th April – Webinar: Customers in Vulnerable situations

In this webinar the BBA and The Money Advice Trust draw on new evidence and practical guidance to help regulated firms tackle the most difficult issues staff are encountering on vulnerability, and review how firms are meeting their regulatory and legal requirements on vulnerability. To register click here.

Thursday 27th April – Webinar: The Fourth Money Laundering Directive: Are you ready?
AML systems and controls remain high on the FCA’s agenda, with three months to go until the implementation of 4MLD. In this webinar, BBA associate members Kompli-Global will highlight key changes and how Regtech can help banks meet their obligations. To register click here.

Latest from our sponsor Jaywing

Ben O’Brien, Jaywing Managing Director, blogs on the benefits of developing integrated modelling programmes for IFRS 9 and stress testing.

Stat of the day

82%: the percentage of businesses surveyed by the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW) that will increase charges to customers, to mediate higher prices caused by rising inflation (Daily Telegraph, B1).

News in brief

The government’s focus on Brexit proceedings has resulted in the lowest number of new UK laws in 20 years, according to a report by Thomson Reuters. (Financial Times, £, p2)

Brexit and increased transparency are top priorities for ‘future-proofing’ the Financial Conduct Authority, according to its Mission Statement released today (Financial Times, £, online).

Global payments network, SWIFT, has spoken of the importance of cyber-security after hackers released documents suggesting the NSA spied on service bureaus (Reuters, online).

The Ukraine has partnered with technology group Bitfury to introduce Blockchain to the country’s digital platform. Initial uses will include state registers and public services, with Bitfury CEO Valery Vavilov calling it the ‘biggest government blockchain deal’ in existence (Reuters, online).

Christine Lagarde, head of the IMF, has warned that the French presidential election may place a ‘question mark’ over the eurozone and threaten euro stability (The Guardian, online).

Natwest has revealed that the most common scams facing consumers are false demands for advance payment and paying for goods that don’t arrive (i,p21). Current estimates show £100 – £200 billion is lost as a result of fraud every year (Financial Times, £, p12).


IMF: World Economic Outlook forecast chapters published

ONS: UK government debt and deficit for Eurostat, Q4 2016

FCA: Mission, the Business Plan 2017/18 and a consultation paper on Fees

House of Commons returns from Easter recess

What the commentators say

Writing in The Daily Telegraph (£, B2), Matthew Lynn argues against the Labour party’s policy pledge to mandate banks to keep branches open. He points out that the decline in branch usage is consumer driven with customers increasingly using banks’ online banking services. Branches are expensive, he contends; forcing banks to keep uneconomical branches open only ends up pushing extra costs onto the consumer.

The Times (£, p27) comments that the Home Office’s proposed “Barista Visa” scheme, aimed at the hospitality sector, shows that the government drastically underestimates the scope of labour shortages the UK economy will face after Brexit. The paper lays out a choice for the electorate: bear higher prices due to industries raising their wages to attract UK workers to jobs vacated by EU nationals, or accept migration that will remain at its current level even after Brexit.

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