LONDON (Reuters) – Britain’s financial services sector will continue to function properly whatever form Brexit takes, junior finance minister Robert Jenrick said on Tuesday.
“We are very focused at the Treasury for preparing for any outcome,” Jenrick told the annual conference of insurance trade body ABI.
Britain is putting EU law on to its statute books.
“This will ensure that whatever the outcome of the exit from the European Union, we have a functioning financial services regime,” Jenrick said.
Britain is due to leave the EU next month, but has not yet agreed a divorce settlement with the bloc, creating uncertainty in the financial sector.
Several EU states have pledged to put in place laws to help avoid the worst fallout from any hard or no-deal Brexit.
But a regulatory source told Reuters that these laws have yet to be put into effect by EU member states.
“Sadly, I am ashamed to say I cannot give you the reassurance that you deserve. It is our duty to put you in a position of greater certainty and that is what we are trying to do,” Jenrick said.
The insurance sector is a success story, contributing £30 billion to the economy annually, but it must continually adapt to keep up with developments such as financial technology, or fintech, he said.
“We cannot assume the UK is predestined to remain at the heart of this market for ever,” Jenrick said.
He said the government will publish a proposal to ensure that regulation in financial services and other sectors like utilities stays “smart and nimble” after Brexit.
(Reporting by Huw Jones and Carolyn Cohn, editing by Ed Osmond)