19 May 2015
The British Bankers Association has commissioned Hector Sants to review the competitiveness of the UK banking sector.
Former Chief Executive of the FSA, Sir Hector Sants, has been appointed by the British Bankers’ Association (BBA) to review competitiveness in the UK banking sector. Sants will lead a team from global management consulting firm Oliver Wyman to investigate whether regulatory clampdowns and the possibility of leaving the EU have damaged the UK’s reputation as an international investment centre.
The review will examine corporate and personal taxation levels, regulation and the risks associated with Britain exiting the EU. The banking sector will be examined as a whole, but it is likely that the main focus will be on corporate and investment banking. The importance of the industry to the UK will also be considered and its competitiveness reviewed in comparison to other financial centres.
The report has been commissioned amid news that several prominent banks, including HSBC and Deutsche bank, are considering moving their investments and assets out of the UK. Many banks have been looking into shifting operations abroad after March’s budget raised the bank levy to 0.21% of global balance sheet liabilities. Following the clear Conservative majority at the General Election, concerns have also been voiced over the forthcoming EU referendum.
Commenting on the review, BBA CEO Anthony Browne said: ‘A prolonged period of uncertainty over the UK’s membership of the EU and its access to the single market could undermine international banks who are big employers in Britain. At the same time tough new regulatory measures are making it more difficult for UK banks to compete in global markets.
‘So we are delighted that Sir Hector Sants will lead this review… We want to make sure that the UK continues to benefit from the hundreds of thousands of jobs and tens of billions of taxes that are currently provided by the banking industry in this country. It is in no-one’s interest for the UK’s biggest export industry to lose its global competitiveness.’
Hector Sants acted as Chief Executive of the FSA from 2007 to 2012. He subsequently took the position of Head of Compliance and Regulatory relations at Barclays, but stepped down after ten months due to exhaustion and stress. Sants was appointed Vice Chairman of Oliver Wyman in December 2014.
Sants and his team aim to deliver their first report, along with a series of recommendations, in the autumn.