19th May 2017

BBA Brief – 19 May 2017

Business reaction to Conservative manifesto

The Times (£, p41) writes that business groups have criticised a number of measures in the Conservative party’s general election manifesto, raising fears that they will increase costs and reduce access to skilled labour. City AM (p1) reports that the manifesto also pledged to increase the remit of regulators and consumer bodies in addition to reforming the rules on executive pay and share buy-backs. Commenting on the proposals, Director General of the Institute of Directors Stephen Martin said, “we have been promised a ‘Global Britain’ after Brexit, but these policies are pulling in the opposite direction”.

Brexit Secretary sets out negotiation approach

Speaking to the Daily Express (p1) David Davis, currently Secretary of State for the Department of Exiting the EU, has said that while his priority will be “preserving as much as we can of our current markets within Europe”, half his time is allocated to planning for the possibility of the UK leaving the EU without agreeing an exit deal. Bloomberg (online) reports that the Conservative manifesto seeks public backing for leaving the EU without a deal if both sides are unable to agree on new arrangements.

President Trump ‘will not break up big banks’

The Wall Street Journal (£, p5) reports that US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin told the US Senate banking committee that the Trump administration does not support a separation of retail and investment banks, citing risks to “financial stability… the economy and liquidity”. The Wall Street Journal notes that a number of potential options for reforming banking regulation have emerged in recent weeks, including use of the existing regulatory framework to restrict transactions between subsidiaries within the largest banking groups.

Latest from the BBA

Sam Mannion, BBA Policy Director, sets out the European Commission’s proposed changes to EMIR.

Henrietta Royle, BBA Chief Operating Officer, blogs on the value of gender diversity in banking, 60 years on from the appointment of the UK’s first female bank branch manager.

BBA Managing Director, Wholesale and Financial Policy, Ronald Kent discusses the potential impact of  attempts to relocate Euro-denominated clearing activity risk with Global Risk Regulator (£, online).

Wednesday 7th June – The BBA NED Club
Our next meeting, exclusively for bank non-executive directors, will host a panel on the role of non executives, followed by a presentation on Culture and Conduct Risk. To reserve your free place click here.

Thursday 15th June Global Trade Review’s UK Trade & Export Finance Conference
Supported by UK Export Finance, EEF, British Exporters Association, the International Chamber of Commerce UK, this event will focus on the key issues in supply chain finance. Click here to register, BBA members receive a 15% discount.

Tuesday 20th June  IFRS 9, Prudential Regulation and Disclosure Forum
This BBA event brings together industry experts on IFRS 9 to discuss outstanding issues,  focussing on IFRS 9 expected credit loss impairment and consider what IFRS 9 means for banks of different sizes. To register, click here.

Latest from our sponsor Jaywing

Wednesday 24th May – Webinar: Fast train through Basel, with final stop IRB. Credit risk modelling experts Jaywing will discuss the prevailing capital headwinds and the challenges facing new banks looking to optimise capital consumption and IRB evaluation priorities. Click here to register for the free webinar.

Stat of the day

2.3%: percentage increase in retail sales volumes last month, 4% higher than in April last year (ONS).

News in brief

The Serious Fraud Office would be merged with the National Crime Agency to improve information sharing and streamline the investigation of money laundering and financial crime if the Conservatives win the general election (Financial Times, £, p3).

Sky News (online) notes that fears of a fall in consumer spending may have been exaggerated as data from the ONS shows retail sales have increased  in Q1 this year.

The Economist (£, p72) warns of the risk of a crypto-currency bubble as the value of bitcoin and other virtual currencies have tripled in value since the start of 2017.

Politico (£, online) reports that European MEPs are struggling to agree new rules on disclosures for international corporations operating in the EU, which were intended to increase transparency over tax issues after the Panama Papers.


The European Central Bank and European Commission will host a joint conference on the capital markets union and banking union in the EU.

CBI publishes latest industrial trends survey.

What the commentators say

Writing in the Evening Standard (p46), Jim Armitage argues that a long transition period is needed to avoid extensive disruption to the UK’s export market, with deals on free movement of people, copyrights and passporting of financial services essential to ensure the UK remains competitive.

Alistair Osborne criticises the Prime Minister’s proposals to reform the takeover rules, share buy-backs and executive pay, commenting that this reflects a wider mistrust of financial markets and warning that approach  will deter foreign investment after Brexit (The Times, £, p43).

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