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Brexit-focused Financial Services Bill gets first reading

The Financial Services Bill received its first reading in Parliament this week as the Government focuses on getting the financial services sector ready for Brexit.

The Financial Services Bill is designed to help ensure the UK maintains its “world-leading regulatory standards and remains open to international markets after the UK leaves the EU.”

It was announced in the Queen’s Speech in December 2019. 

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The Bill has been welcomed by the Financial Conduct Authority which said it will help to maintain high standards and provide greater clarity to firms. It particularly welcomed the Bill’s provisions to amend the Benchmarks Regulation, which is intended to help manage and direct an orderly wind-down of critical benchmarks such as LIBOR. The regulator said it will continue its work with the Treasury during the Bill’s passage through Parliament.

PIMFA, the trade association for the wealth management and financial advice industry, also welcomed the bill.

Tim Fassam, director of Government relations and policy at PIMFA, said: “Any move to safeguard the continued success of the UK’s Financial Services industry and our place as one of the world’s leading financial centres is always welcome.

“It is particularly welcome that the Government is seeking to limit any disruption to the free flow of capital markets while at the same time seeking to maintain the UK’s world leading prudential standards as we prepare for life outside the single market on 1 January 2021.

“We will be studying the bill in detail and are keen to continue to work with Government, the regulator and all other stakeholders to create an effective financial series regulatory regime that balances the needs of consumers and our industry alike.”

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