20th March 2017

Chief Executive newsletter – March 2017

Written by Anthony Browne

Welcome to my newsletter. Like the weather, the Government’s plans for Brexit are beginning to heat up. With the Prime Minister preparing to trigger Article 50, we continue to highlight the industry’s need for clarity to stakeholders in the UK and across Europe.

However this is by no means our only priority. From conduct to prudential supervision to capital markets reform, we face a busy and fast-moving regulatory agenda, with a packed line up of events to come over the next few months.

Financial Crime

We are working with members to review HM Treasury’s updated Anti-Money Laundering Regulations, and understand how the newly created Office for Professional Body Anti-Money Laundering Supervision (OPBAS) will impact banks. In addition, we are collaborating with the Home Office to improve intelligence sharing provisions and facilitate early discussion on how the Criminal Finances Bill will be implemented with members. This is in parallel with our efforts to engage on the wider Home Office Suspicious Activity Reports (SARs) Reform Programme. The BBA Board has also commissioned the development of a financial crime engagement strategy to support more effective engagement with key interlocutors in HMG and regulators.

Capital requirements

The BBA has long argued the present capital regime reduces competition in the market and customer choice because it often requires challenger banks to hold several times as much capital as larger banks for making the same type of loan. Earlier this month we welcomed the PRA’s efforts to refine the Pillar 2A capital framework as an important step towards promoting competition. In Europe, we have stressed the need to refine the European Commission’s recent CRR2/CRDV proposals that introduce a requirement for an EU intermediate parent undertaking (EU IPU). As drafted, the proposals could significantly complicate the mechanism for bank resolution.

Brexit Quick Briefs

The BBA’s Quick Briefs are designed to help explain the major issues being faced by the banking industry and its customers in the UK and EU countries in light of Brexit. Our most recent briefs on data protection and transitional arrangements look at the issues facing firms that digitally store and transmit data across EU and EEA jurisdictions and the need to avoid damaging cliff-edge effects when the UK leaves the EU.

Parliamentary engagement

Last month we welcomed over 200 BBA members, Ministers, Regulators and MPs to a Parliamentary reception hosted by Baroness Noakes DBE. Mark Garnier MP, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Department for International Trade spoke on the importance of strengthening the UK’s global trading relationships. At our Annual Reception in Brussels on 6 March, Olivier Guersent, Director-General of DG FISMA addressed an audience of over 200 senior EU members, policymakers and stakeholders, setting out the European Commission’s regulatory agenda for banking and financial services.

Retail banking conference

Finally, I would like to invite you to join us at the BBA’s Annual Retail Banking Conference on 29th June. The Conference will explore the role of technology in shaping the customer experience from fintech, open banking and digitisation. Speakers include FCA Chief Executive Andrew Bailey and Alasdair Smith, Chair of the CMA’s Retail Banking Market Investigation. You can see the full agenda and register on our website.

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