The Daily Telegraph

Kwarteng seeks growth experts to help unleash ‘Big Bang 2.0’

- By Simon Foy and Laura Onita

KWASI KWARTENG has kicked off a search for two new board members at the City watchdog with experience in promoting “growth and competitiv­eness”, as ministers pile pressure on regulators to help unleash a “Big Bang 2.0”.

The Chancellor has launched an official search to fill two non-executive roles at the Financial Conduct Authority, seeking candidates with “an appreciati­on of the role of regulation as a driver of growth and competitiv­eness”.

Mr Kwarteng and Liz Truss, the Prime Minister, are seeking to trigger a deregulato­ry drive in the City of London in an attempt to make the UK’S financial services industry more attractive. The Chancellor hopes cutting red tape will help reach his new target of 2.5pc annual growth. As part of the push, Mr

‘FCA is seeking those with an appreciati­on of the role of regulation as a driver of growth and competitiv­eness’

Kwarteng is expected to announce the creation of a network of low tax, low regulation investment zones in an emergency mini-budget on Friday.

Planning regulation­s will be relaxed in up to 12 locations earmarked for this status, and taxes will be cut to incentivis­e investment, The Guardian reported.

In a sign of intent, Mr Kwarteng told City bosses earlier this month that he will pursue sweeping financial reforms to unleash growth, in a direct echo of Margaret Thatcher’s “Big Bang” deregulati­on of the Square Mile in the 1980s.

The Financial Services and Markets Bill, which is going through Parliament, is set to give the FCA a secondary objective of promoting competitiv­eness.

The Daily Telegraph revealed last week that Ms Truss has come under pressure to force regulators to make boosting competitiv­eness their primary goal, amid fears London is falling behind rival financial centres.

The FCA and the Treasury declined to comment.

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