In February this year (2021) the Prime Minister invited the Rt Hon Sir Iain Duncan Smith MP to lead a Taskforce on Innovation, Growth and Regulatory Reform (TIGGR).
The CityUnited Project (CUP) was asked to submit proposals and recommendations to the Taskforce, which it did on 06 April. This article summarises the CUP’s report, the full text of which can be downloaded here.
This report is written in support of TIGGR’s stated objective to “consider all the options available to us to stimulate business dynamism and innovation, ensure that our markets are open and competitive and that businesses can scale up unencumbered by any unnecessary administrative burdens”. The CUP’s report does so in the context of the UK’s largest industry, financial services, and with a very strong read across to a number of stated HMG policies.
Its recommendations are framed in the state of radical change within the global geopolitical structure and the impact of rapidly advancing digital technology on every aspect of life including specifically national and international financial service markets and their regulation. These also recognise how the UK’s newly acquired independence from the EU provides an opportunity for radical reform of regulation, supervision and management of these markets and their participants and beneficiaries.
Principal Recommendation – Central Bank Digital Currency
A principal recommendation – of huge importance to HMG’s strategic geopolitical aims – builds on the opportunity provided by the development of a UK sterling Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) in parallel with that already well advanced in China, challenging the established international payment system, SWIFT.
This recommendation calls for a small team drawn from all necessary sources to plan for and supervise such an initiative, based on current UK technology expertise. It recognises the geopolitical danger of the Chinese project whilst setting out the soft power and HMG management advantages, together with specific workstreams associated with its application to financial services regulation and promotion. (Recommendation 1)
It also underlines the importance of leveraging these developments to support the UK’s continuing leadership within the international financial services community and a framework for future international regulatory partnerships.
It takes account of Real Time Regulation, competitive marketplaces, proportionality and cost, and the impact and supervision of parallel international financial markets, with associated specific recommendations. It also makes proposals, in support of HMG’s ongoing aims, for renewing a close working relationship with the EU within that framework. (Recommendations 2 to 11)
The CUP’s report makes further recommendations to take advantage of opportunities at a UK – as opposed to international – level, including, in support of HMG’s headline policies, in respect of:-
- * Regional development and Freeports thereby strengthening the Union in conjunction with a sterling CBDC
- * Attracting ESG/Green investment
- * Setting digital standards, regulatory style and change implementation
- * Reverse solicitation – Developing international parallel markets assisted by reverse solicitation
- * Improving derivative markets, assessing agency intermediaries, enhanced UK fund availability
- * The importance of ICO involvement and the support of University research and innovation
- (Recommendations 12 to 24)
The CityUnited Project’s report concludes with suggestions for further immediate collaborative actions by HMG, UK regulators, financial service representatives and other interested principals to provide the prioritised strategic framework implied by its recommendations and to work with speed towards their implementation.
The material and data backing the report and its recommendations has been supplied in its entirety by frontline financial service practitioners, with references in the text where appropriate.
Read the full CUP report here.
Background to The CityUnited Project
The CityUnited Project (“CUP”) is a non-partisan, senior practitioner led campaign whose vision and sole strategic objective is a world leading City and UK financial services industry, supported by a fair and competitive regulatory and taxation framework, attracting and drawing on the highest global skills and technology.
Our Advisory Board includes:
- Sir Bernard Jenkin MP (Chairman)
- The Rt Hon David Jones MP
- The Rt Hon The Lord Lamont of Lerwick PC
- The Rt Hon The Lord Hannan of Kingsclere
- Anne Marie Morris MP
- David Campbell Bannerman (former MEP)
The CUP’s approach is positive and forward looking, and its methodology is collaborative, working in complement with likeminded institutions where possible, filling a current need for a coordinated City and UK financial services industry voice, representative of all its diversity and immense and powerful attributes.
The CUP’s concerns are specifically associated with initiatives and topics which appear not to be receiving the attention they deserve in the current period of change and redirection, rather than the more generally understood and well represented issues.
Further background and the principals involved can be found at www.cityunitedproject.com.
For more information: Please contact the team at email@example.com.