Brexit

UK financial services to survive no equivalence deal, says KPMG boss

Karim Haji told City AM that the UK’s position “isn’t changing as a result of Brexit”, despite the unresolved talks between UK and European officials

The UK is reportedly set to remain as a financial services leader, even without an EU equivalence deal, according to Karim Haji, head of FS at KPMG.

The Big Four member told City AM that the UK’s position “isn’t changing as a result of Brexit”, despite the unresolved talks between UK and European officials.

As a result of the UK leaving the EU on 1 January, firms in the city lost access to the single market and customs union.

However, Brussels can grant direct market access to companies that deal in similar market rules to the EU in a process called equivalence.

Still, Haji claimed that although an equivalence deal would “make life easier”, it is not the final straw for a successful FS industry in the UK.

He said, via the London publication: “If you take a step back, the UK has been one of the leaders in financial services regulation and infrastructure, it’s one of the key innovators in the space as well, and one of the leaders in the world, and that’s why the UK has been successful in exporting financial services – that isn’t changing as a result of Brexit.

“The regulatory regime that we had before Brexit and today is by and large the same, and many of the regulations that we talk about in terms of EU regulations, the UK was not only an active participant, but quite a leading thinker, and the relationship between the UK regulators and the European regulators is still strong.”

Haji added that “just like cities in the US”, the UK can remain an “international, world-recognised and world leading financial centre”.

Accountancy Today has contacted KPMG for further comment.

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