U.K. Launches Inquiry to Find Advantages for Banks in Brexit

(Bloomberg) -- U.K. lawmakers will investigate how the country can take advantage of Brexit to remove regulatory barriers for British banks.

Parliament’s Treasury Committee will launch an inquiry on Friday into the future of the financial-services industry after the U.K. leaves the European Union. It will look into what the government’s priorities on banking should be as it negotiates future trading relationships and whether current regulatory barriers that apply to third-party countries should be maintained.

The U.K. is desperate to make post-Brexit Britain seem an attractive place to do business as lenders from Deutsche Bank AG to Citigroup Inc. lay out plans to move billions of pounds onto the continent. Depending on what deal the U.K. strikes with the EU on a future trading relationship, its lenders may be freed from many of the restrictions that govern the bloc’s financial sector.

The inquiry will examine “whether it would be in the long-term interests of the U.K. to align closely with EU financial rules, or to forgo financial-services trade with the EU and pursue trade with other third countries,’’ committee Chair Nicky Morgan said in a statement.

While U.K. financial services must retain their pre-eminence after Brexit, “there is no appetite in the industry to take a bulldozer to our current regulatory framework, not least because much of EU regulation was written with the U.K. holding the pen,’’ Miles Celic of TheCityUK lobby group said.

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