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The Treasury issues a clarion call in the City's competitiveness campaign

The Treasury issues a clarion call in the City's competitiveness campaign

Ministers will take another step this week toward requiring regulators to boost the competitiveness of the UK financial services sector.
According to Sky News, the Treasury will issue a request for proposals on Tuesday, seeking suggestions for methods to assess watchdogs' compliance with the new standards.

Some may see the attempt to gather proposals from the financial services sector, one of the biggest in the UK by GDP, regulators, and other stakeholders as laying the scene for a fresh conflict between the government and the City's regulatory authorities.

Officials say City minister Andrew Griffith, a former executive at Sky News' parent company, is determined to embed the new secondary competitiveness and economic growth objectives as quickly and comprehensively as possible within the Financial Conduct Authority and Prudential Regulation Authority.

According to one person familiar with the document due out this week, it will be a crucial stepping stone toward a new system of accountability for regulators.

"Just as we successfully export our regulatory know-how to the world," the source said, "the government wants to learn from what competitor international financial centre jurisdictions use as yardsticks of success."

During Rishi Sunak's tenure as chancellor, the government pledged to issuing an annual 'State of the City' report, which was first released last year.

The government has agreed to co-author the report's second version with the City of London Corporation.

Mr Griffith is guiding the Financial Services and Markets Bill through parliament, and the UK's post-Brexit Future Regulatory Framework is being developed to provide a more nimble system of supervision that commands worldwide respect.

In recent months, there has been growing concern about the FCA's public company listing process, with a number of firms, like Betfair-owner Flutter Entertainment, announcing intentions to list their shares in the US.

Meanwhile, ARM Holdings, the chip manufacturer, has chosen to list in New York rather than its home market, while the creator of Revolut, the British-based fintech powerhouse, has criticized UK authorities for the speed with which they make decisions in an interview with The Times.

The FCA revealed a long-awaited revision of the London listings framework last week, but there are concerns that it may not go far enough to tip the balance back towards the UK.

Privately, regulators have raised worries about the drive to impose competitiveness goals on them, with some officials noting recent instability in the banking industry in the United States and Europe as proof of the need to stay focused on safeguarding financial stability.

Sky News reported last year that Andrew Bailey, the governor of the Bank of England, was concerned about a 'call-in power' that would have given the Treasury the authority to override banking regulators.

Finally, the Treasury said that the intervention powers will not be used.

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