Who said a week is a long time in politics?

FSTP, City of London, Financial Services,

The saying “a week is a long time in politics” is now consigned to the history books. Within a day, faces and new roles have been introduced as many times as the door to number 10 opened and closed!  But what are the challenges and opportunities facing the financial services industry just ahead of the summer holidays?

Philip Hammond’s replacement of George Osborne at the Treasury is maybe not a surprise, but he has got some work to do:

  • The change to corporate governance to include representation of staff and possible caps on remuneration for senior executives, alluded to by Teresa May in her campaign speech.
  • How he intends to work with both regulators?
  • His views on the rise of the Chinese banks in London, this and how he manages the impact of Brexit on the economy.

Liam Fox’s appointment as Secretary of State for International Trade and David Davis appointment as Secretary of State for Exiting the EU (will that be shortened to SSEXE??) means they will be key figures for us, as the health of the financial services industry is critical to the economy as a whole.

Some will argue that Boris Johnson’s appointment as Foreign Secretary is the biggest surprise. Having read a great deal of his work I might suggest it is a job he was born for, but I can’t help feeling this is our new PM thinking “keep your friends close but your enemies closer”. That said BoJo has been a huge advocate of the City and its institutions on the world stage, and as a Brexit campaigner this could be the chance for him to erase some negative opinion and help lead the negotiations.

But let’s not forget politics should be about Government and opposition. Whilst the SNP appear broadly aligned in their opposition to “Brexit means Brexit” the Labour party have several weeks of leadership contesting before we know how effective they will be.  Still tomorrow is another day…….

Julia Kirkland

Senior Partner