Tisa: Passporting isn’t essential in Brexit negotiations

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Investment and savings organisation Tisa has told the Treasury that it would like the government to seek equivalence rather than full membership of the single market as it enters Brexit negotiations with the European Union.

Its initial proposals, outlined today, state that passporting, as well as the free movement of people, are not essential for its member firms, which include asset managers.

It follows proposals published by the AIC on Tuesday that state passporting is not essential for the UK’s investment trusts.

Tisa has also recommended the government cut away red tape for financial services firms that do not operate in the European Union, creating a tiered regulatory system for those that want to access the single market and those who do not.

Tisa director general David Dalton-Brown says equivalence would be a “win-win opportunity”.

“Many of the EU Directives, like AIFMD and Mifid II, already embody the concept and through enabling legislation it can be added to others, such as Ucits.”

Dalton-Brown says equivalence would “facilitate the continuation of existing business” and minimise impact on the financial services sector’s 113,000 UK jobs dependent on European Union trade.

He adds the government should task the FCA to start work immediately on a domestic-only version of the regulatory rulebook.

“This should focus on cutting away most of the paperwork that consumers are expected to wade through to open a savings and investments account.”

While Tisa’s recommendations state that freedom of movement is not essential for the industry, Dalton-Brown says the government needs to streamline the visa process in order to get the best financial services professionals from Europe and around the globe “without delays or hindrance”.

Despite stating that Brexit provides opportunities for the financial services industry, Tisa has also urged the government to make its “proposed direction of travel” clear so firms can prepare accordingly, including securing free market opportunities with the rest of the world.

Dalton-Brown says: “We welcome the announcement on the Great Repeal Bill, but to protect the jobs of over a million people working in financial services and to allow UK financial services to prosper post Brexit, it is vital that firms can see a clear vision of what the Government’s negotiating stance will be so they can commence planning for its implementation.”