Posted by Andrew Marshall on Fri, Sep 27 2013

All Posts by Andrew Marshall

Wholesale finance plays it low key at the Conservatives in Manchester

It's fascinating that this year there's really only a couple of fringe meeting on the broad topic of wholesale finance/investment banking and asset management at the Conservative party conference in Manchester, though no doubt there will be stands from some trade bodies and some one on one meetings. Policy Exchange is looking at "Is it time to return the banks to the private sector", with Nadhim Zahawi MP speaking. Then there’s the Conservative Home/City UK event "The UK In A Global Race: Competitiveness of UK financial services” with speakers: Tim Montgomerie, Editor - Times Opinion (Chair); Rt Hon Greg Clark, Financial Secretary to the Treasury; Syed Kamall MEP; Andrea Leadsom MP; and Chris Cummings, Chief Executive – TheCityUK.

Both these events look good and hope to catch them during a quick trip to Manchester, but probably this comparative paucity of wholesale finance events reflects in part of the industry picking its battlegrounds and keeping its head down, plus the impact of regulatory fatigue. And of course a recognition that in terms of EU financial services legislation, next summer with European Parliament elections and the new Commission will mark a much more significant step change. Other industries, whether retail or infrastructure, have got more compelling and less complex stories to come and explain to party activists and policy wonks. But the financial services industry will need over time to keep making its case, and needs to outline to all political players how innovation is bringing benefit to corporate and individual customers, and how it continues to be a significant export industry for the UK that should be handled carefully.

There’s more in the fringe programme on innovations in SME finance, reviving SME lending, investment in UK life science sector, payday loans, midmarket funding (via Demos and GE Capital) – all more digestable stuff for a party conference, and not unimportant. But more wholesale finance on the agenda in future. Link here to all fringe listings:

Conservative Party Conference

Asset Management, Banking, Public Affairs,
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