Reluctance to adopt the euro has replaced regulatory obstacles as the biggest challenge to UK fin- ance companies breaking into Europe, says economist Lord David Curry.
The Labour peer and City University dean of business says that, with the developments in Brussels to foster the growth of a Europe-wide market, regulatory concerns are no longer holding back UK providers.
He believes if the Government adopted the euro, retail financial services companies would find it easier to sell products to other member nations.
Curry says once companies do start to establish more of a presence on the Continent, they will not have to spend big amounts of money building brand awareness but will rely instead on establishing relationships with European companies along the lines of the proposed multi-ties in the UK.
Curry says: “Regulatory barriers were enormous in the past. But now these barriers are becoming less important, currency divisions and consumer preferences start to become more important.”
Autif director of communications Anne McMeehan says: “We do not agree with that. Our industry is already able to operate in multi-currencies. We think the most important problem is if the UK ignores Brussels on the regulatory front.”