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Policy Contribution

The European Union’s post-Brexit reckoning with financial markets

In the negotiations between the European Union and the United Kingdom over their future relationship, we see a high probability of a weak contractual outcome, given the dominance of politics over considerations of market efficiency.

By: and Date: May 13, 2020 Topic: European Macroeconomics & Governance

In the negotiations between the European Union and the United Kingdom over their future relationship, we see a high probability of a weak contractual outcome, given the dominance of politics over considerations of market efficiency. The EU will thus face a great deal of readjustment and regulatory realignment of its market for financial and other services.

The future relationship will start out with closely aligned regulations which will allow equivalence, and therefore seamless transactions, to continue in many sectors for a number of years. As regulatory autonomy has been one of the main Brexit rationales, we expect divergence to increase after a couple of years. The UK will become a third country for financial service transactions, dependent on temporary equivalence rulings, whereas in the past it could do business under a comprehensive regulatory passport.

London will remain a global financial hub, even as EU companies move operations out of the UK, set up additional licences and distribute activities across the EU. This will result in duplication and thus higher costs in both the UK and the EU as market participants strive to adjust to a future structure that will remain highly uncertain for years to come.

In the EU-UK negotiations on financial services, the aims should be to seek an agreement to provide stability for a defined, though limited, time period; a plan for how to manage divergences and the regulatory barriers that may result; and an EU reckoning with what kind of financial market it wants. This would ensure a stable transition to what we assume will be a structurally very different link than existed when the UK was part of the EU.

The UK has historically been both a business centre and policy leader in the financial sector. In its absence, the EU will need to decide how prominent a role finance should play and where regulatory and supervisory responsibilities should be located.

Brexit can act as a catalyst for the EU to address what its capital markets should look like and how to get them there. The challenges of restructuring and recovery in the wake of COVID-19, of ensuring confidence in the euro and of preserving pensions systems all require highly integrated, functional and fair financial and capital markets, as public budgets are highly under stress. These integrated markets do not exist in the EU. Action now is of the essence.

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Banks post-Brexit: regulatory divergence or parallel tracks?

Post-Brexit UK bank regulation is not likely to compromise on international standards, but will place greater emphasis on competition, making close UK-EU dialogue essential.

By: Alexander Lehmann Topic: Finance & Financial Regulation Date: July 6, 2021
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External Publication

European Parliament

UK banks in international markets

Implications of UK-euro area divergence in regulation and supervisory practice

By: Alexander Lehmann Topic: European Parliament, Finance & Financial Regulation, Testimonies Date: June 25, 2021
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Corporate bankruptcies are set to rise in the context of COVID-19. EU countries should speed up adoption of recent insolvency reforms and, in addition, offer consistent treatment to restructuring finance.

By: Alexander Lehmann Topic: Finance & Financial Regulation Date: March 24, 2021
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The phase of greatest Brexit-related uncertainty for the European financial sector ended on 1 January. Although too early to discern more than the broadest contours of the future landscape, it is increasingly apparent that London will be less dominant than before.

By: Nicolas Véron Topic: Finance & Financial Regulation Date: March 11, 2021
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By: André Sapir Topic: European Macroeconomics & Governance Date: January 12, 2021
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Podcast

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The future of EU-UK relations (again!)

At the eleventh hour of negotiations, what will the future of the EU-UK relationship look like?

By: The Sound of Economics Topic: European Macroeconomics & Governance Date: October 13, 2020
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Past Event

Past Event

The Sound of Economics Live: The future of EU-UK relations (again!)


At the eleventh hour of negotiations, what will the future of the EU-UK relationship look like?

Speakers: Maria Demertzis, Giuseppe Porcaro, André Sapir and Guntram B. Wolff Topic: European Macroeconomics & Governance Location: Bruegel, Rue de la Charité 33, 1210 Brussels Date: October 13, 2020
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The EU’s Opportunity to Turn Its Markets Toward the Future

Meeting the fiscal demands of COVID-19 will require the European Union to borrow on capital markets more than ever, and for European pension funds and households to look more widely for ways to build their nest eggs safely. The EU should take the challenges of the pandemic and Brexit as a chance to get its financial infrastructure house in order.

By: Rebecca Christie Topic: European Macroeconomics & Governance, Finance & Financial Regulation Date: July 16, 2020
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One rule to ring them all? Europe's financial markets after Brexit

What effect will brexit have on Europe's financial markets?

By: The Sound of Economics Topic: European Macroeconomics & Governance, Global Economics & Governance Date: June 26, 2020
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How will COVID-19 impact Brexit? The collision of two giant policy imperatives

The United Kingdom left the European Union on Jan. 31, 2020. Now, the U.K. must decide whether and how to extend the transition period, currently set to expire at the end of 2020.

By: Rebecca Christie Topic: European Macroeconomics & Governance Date: May 19, 2020
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Speakers: Michael Leigh and Beth Thompson Topic: European Macroeconomics & Governance, Innovation & Competition Policy Location: Bruegel, Rue de la Charité 33, 1210 Brussels Date: March 17, 2020
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The Sound of Economics Live - The Brussels effect: How the European Union rules the world

This was a live recording of an episode of the Sound of Economics, Bruegel's podcast series. The discussion centered around the book of Anu Bradford, The Brussels Effect.

Speakers: Anu Bradford, Ashoka Mody, Giuseppe Porcaro and Guntram B. Wolff Topic: European Macroeconomics & Governance Location: Bruegel, Rue de la Charité 33, 1210 Brussels Date: March 3, 2020
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