Ernst & Young partner and former FSA head of international unit Thomas Huertas has hit out at the UK’s approach to negotiating EU regulation, saying other member states are much more effective.
Speaking at the Lansons Communications Future of Financial Services conference, Huertas praised EU regulation as good for the UK.
He said: “Technically, the UK is very engaged and its opinions are respected but, in terms of overall approach, it is widely acknowledged that other member states do it more effectively.
“They are able to present their position in a manner that seems to be for the benefit of Europe as a whole. They gain much more political support than the UK has been able to provide.
“There is a view in many circles that it is possible for the UK to have an a la carte approach to financial regulation.”
Huertas also warned that leaving the EU would put London’s role as the European financial centre at risk.
He said: “It is completely unrealistic to think that situation could continue unless the London market is subject to EU financial regulation.”
Cicero Group associate Simon Squire disagrees that the UK approach to regulation is ineffective, highlighting successful alliances built during banking union negotiations.
He says: “I also disagree with the assertion that the UK wants an a la carte approach to financial regulation.
“The sheer size of the UK financial services sector means the UK must act with caution when it believes EU regulation could be damaging.”