The British Bankers’ Association (BBA) has appointed former FSA chief Hector Sants to lead new review into the competitiveness of Britain’s banking sector.
He will lead a team from consulting firm Oliver Wyman that will examine whether tax and regulatory reforms in the wake of the financial crisis dented the competitiveness of the country’s banking sector and hurt UK’s international reputation as a banking centre.
The team will present the government with a series of recommendations in the autumn.
The move comes after HSBC warned that it may consider relocation its headquarters outside the UK, while German lender Deutsche Bank revealed plans to exit UK and move its business to Germany if a referendum ends the UK’s membership of the European Union.
Commenting on appointment and speculation that some banks could leave the UK due to uncertainty around the EU referendum, BBA CEO Anthony Browne said: "The banking industry is increasingly concerned about how Britain is becoming an uncompetitive place to do business. Some banks have recently moved operations and jobs out of the UK due to punitive hikes in bank taxes. Other banks have deferred decisions about whether to invest in Britain until after the referendum.
"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 will aim to present the Government with a series of recommendations in the autumn. 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."