The City needs a new Big Bang
The Times “Britain has never loved the City,” says Iain Martin. So it was no great surprise that – when the British Bankers’ Association warned that, after the Brexit vote, several large international banks had their fingers hovering over the “relocate button” – the reaction of many taxpayers was to offer them “a lift to the airport”. Yet we should be careful what we wish for. “For all its foibles, flaws and intermittent law-breaking”, the City has become “a genuine global success story” since the Big Bang shake-up in the 1980s. It “provides a great deal of employment and pays a lot of tax”. And it’s now on the cusp of another transformation. As a leader of the emerging “FinTech movement”, London is well placed to profit from the digital revolution in electronic currencies and platforms now shaking the status quo in the finance industry – provided “we do not regulate the place to death”. Whatever deal is done with the EU, it is crucial that Britain continues to benefit from “the City’s gift for reinvention”. The key is openness, innovation – and allowing foreign money and expertise in.