Hunt to back review of City ‘unbundling’ in Big Bang 2.0 reforms

Hunt to back review of City ‘unbundling’ in Big Bang 2.0 reforms
Hunt to back review of City ‘unbundling’ in Big Bang 2.0 reforms

Arabnews24.ca:Tuesday 6 December 2022 10:43 AM: Jeremy Hunt, the chancellor, will this week commit to a review of City ‘unbundling’ as part of a package of deregulatory reforms aimed at bolstering London’s post-Brexit competitiveness.

Sky News has learnt that Mr Hunt will announce as soon as Friday that the measures - dubbed 'Big Bang 2.0 in the City and Whitehall - will include a commitment to independently review provisions contained in Mifid-II, a Europe-wide law introduced in 2018.

A source said an external figure was likely to be appointed to oversee the review.

One of the key provisions in Mifid-II related to unbundling, or separating, of buying investment banks' research from costs incurred from the purchase or sale of securities, and was aimed at removing a potential conflict of interest.

Some City figures have argued that unbundling has hampered the City's competitiveness, although a 2019 review by the Financial Conduct Authority found that Mifid-II research rules were largely working as intended.

Mr Hunt is expected to outline his package of financial services reforms at a roundtable meeting with industry executives in Edinburgh.

The chancellor is also likely to say that the ring-fencing rules established for Britain's biggest banks after the 2008 financial crisis will be relaxed, with the deposits threshold for participating lenders raised from £25bn to £35bn, according to one industry executive.

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Andrew Griffith, the new City minister, recently referred to potential changes to ring-fencing in the context of recommendations made to the government last year by Keith Skeoch, the former boss of Standard Life Aberdeen.

Other measures expected to be embraced by Mr Hunt this week include those focused on improving the efficiency of securitisation and other areas of the financial markets.

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The Treasury did not respond to an enquiry on Tuesday.

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