Fund groups meet with Govt over bespoke Brexit deal

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Asset managers met with Government ministers yesterday to discuss how the UK would retain its lead position as a financial services centre ahead of triggering Article 50 and the formal process to leave the EU.

Alongside Investment Association chief executive Chris Cummings, senior executives from nine asset management groups met with ministers from the Department for Exiting the European Union and the Treasury, as well as independent franchise partners.

Allianz Global Investors, Barings Europe, BlackRock Investment Management, HSBC, Investec, M&G, Pictet Asset Management, Schroders and Vanguard were all in attendance.

Topics covered included the Great Repeal Bill, the movement of skilled workers and opportunities to increase the sector’s global competitiveness in the future.

Cummings says: “The Investment Association is calling for the UK and the EU to strike a bespoke post-Brexit agreement, which will allow UK-based asset managers to continue to provide products and services to millions of savers across the EU and the world to the extent that they do today.

“This kind of agreement could be part of an EU-UK Free Trade Agreement or a similar type of treaty.

Department for Exiting the European Union minister Robin Walker says the Government is committed to getting the “best deal” for the UK.

He says: “One that allows British companies the maximum freedom to trade with and operate within European markets – and let European businesses do the same in Britain.

“Hearing directly from the sector about the potential impacts and opportunities for them is hugely valuable – providing us with the information we need as we prepare to enter the negotiations.”

Treasury commercial secretary Baroness Neville-Rolfe says with UK-based fund managers running more assets than France, Germany and Italy combined, she was determined the UK would continue to be a global financial hub.

She adds: “[We] are focused on negotiating the best deal for financial services, including asset management, to ensure the sector continues to be one of Britain’s great success stories.”