Tuesday, November 30News That Matters

Ex-MEP Swinburne picked for key City lobbying post

A former Brussels lawmaker will on Monday be appointed to a key City post as Britain’s financial services industry strives to maintain its international competitiveness after Brexit.

Sky News understands that Dr Kay Swinburne, a former vice-chair of the European Parliament’s influential Economics and Monetary Affairs Committee, is to be named as the next chair of the International Regulatory Strategy Group (IRSG) – a group jointly sponsored by TheCityUK and the City of London Corporation.

Dr Swinburne will replace Mark Hoban, the former City minister, who stepped down as IRSG chair at the end of 2019.

She is now a vice-chair at KPMG, the accountancy firm.

Her appointment will come as the group – a practitioner-led body which includes some of the financial services industry’s most prominent figures – wrestles with the unfolding implications of Britain’s post-Brexit future.

While an anticipated exodus of jobs from London has failed to materialise, the City has already seen significant shifts in trading activity by major firms.

Earlier this month, Sir Howard Davies, the chairman of taxpayer-backed NatWest Group, said: “Although the City will remain Europe’s largest financial marketplace, its golden age as Europe’s financial capital is over.”

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A deal to give the UK full access to Europe’s financial services markets – known as equivalence – remains elusive, and industry figures are pessimistic about the prospect of an agreement materialising.

The IRSG’s policy agenda also includes avoiding global regulatory fragmentation and ensuring that the UK is well-positioned to benefit from emerging trends in areas such as environmental, social and governance-led investing.

TheCityUK declined to comment on Sunday.