I’ve been at the AFB for two months and in that time, we’ve had three Chancellors of the Exchequer. Following the latest political changes, there is a renewed focus on stability and predictability. In my meeting earlier this week with HM Treasury, I stressed the importance of stability. Only with stability can AFB members play a full part in delivering the investment and growth we need across the UK.
Competitiveness remains crucial too. AFB is concerned by recent press speculation that the corporation tax surcharge for banks may not be lowered from 8% to 3% when corporation tax rises to 25% next April (as originally proposed). We wrote to the new Chancellor about this and had a follow up call with Treasury officials, where AFB members were able to explain the risk to the UK’s international competitiveness if the surcharge is not lowered.
In late October I had a very positive meeting with Sam Woods at the PRA, where I reiterated how much we value our constructive relationship. I did raise concerns around how in practice the term ‘proportionality’ is interpreted, especially for some of the smaller banks, and how we can work together to make sure guidance and expectations of good practice are clearer.
I also attended the recent annual City Dinner at Mansion House and heard keynote speeches from both Nikhil Rathi and Sam Woods, who raised concerns at proposals (recently confirmed by the new Chancellor) to include a ‘call in’ power as part of the new regulatory framework. Getting the balance right between maintaining regulatory independence, and ensuring competitiveness is part of regulators’ mandates will be challenging.
Unfortunately, we had to postpone the Annual Banquet, due to scheduled rail and tube strikes. The new date is 1 February 2023 and I’m pleased that many of you have confirmed you’ll be able to make the new date. More information here.
I am also delighted that we’ve started taking bookings for some 2023 Training Programmes, register your place below:
Best wishes, Giles.