Regulators, business leaders respond to Brexit
News of the UK referendum result on Friday triggered a bevy of official statements. Here are excerpts from some of them:
Financial Reporting Council (FRC):
“Stakeholders have asked about the implications of the referendum result for our regulatory work. Our regulatory framework is unchanged and we will continue to apply it. The FRC will also continue to play its part in representing the interests of the UK internationally. We will pay close attention to the decisions now taken by the Government and Parliament, and continue to work in collaboration with our key stakeholders, particularly investors, business and the professionals we regulate, in order to ensure our work continues to support economic growth.”
Financial Conduct Authority (FCA):
"On 23 June, the UK voted to leave the European Union (EU). This has significant implications for the UK.
"The FCA is in very close contact with the firms we supervise as well as the Treasury, the Bank of England and other UK authorities, and we are monitoring developments in the financial markets.
"Much financial regulation currently applicable in the UK derives from EU legislation. This regulation will remain applicable until any changes are made, which will be a matter for Government and Parliament.
"Firms must continue to abide by their obligations under UK law, including those derived from EU law and continue with implementation plans for legislation that is still to come into effect.
"Consumers’ rights and protections, including any derived from EU legislation, are unaffected by the result of the referendum and will remain unchanged unless and until the Government changes the applicable legislation.
"The longer term impacts of the decision to leave the EU on the overall regulatory framework for the UK will depend, in part, on the relationship that the UK seeks with the EU in the future. We will work closely with the Government as it confirms the arrangements for the UK’s future relationship with the EU."
Peter Cheese, chief executive of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD), the professional body for HR and people development:
“ …The impact of a ‘leave’ vote is much bigger than simply changing the political landscape of the UK. It stands to have a significant impact on the world of work and future planning within organisations. We need a broad and thorough consultation between government, organisations and employees across all sectors and representative bodies. … It’s important that the Government takes the time to really understand the impact of any proposed changes and works with businesses to minimise risk to individuals, organisations and the economy.
“For most businesses, the immediate impact of this historic decision will be limited as major changes won’t be able to occur for a while. However, employment law, immigration and the ability of employers to bring the right skills they need into their business were key themes focused on in the campaign that will potentially be subject to change going forwards, and these things will no doubt be on employers’ minds.
“Now is not the time for hasty decisions or knee-jerk reactions from government or employers. Evidence suggests that the UK’s flexible labour market already strikes the right balance between providing flexibility for employers and employment rights for workers. We would urge the Government to bear that in mind when approaching any renegotiation of our relationship with the EU or considering any changes to UK law.
“Another key element of our flexible labour market is that it enables employers to access or bring in skilled and unskilled workers from outside the UK to help support business growth and address labour shortages in our public services. It is important that this is not forgotten in any reform of the immigration system. …”
Ian Powell, chairman and senior partner of the UK firm of PwC:
“… History has taught us that UK business is adaptable and innovative when confronted with new challenges and opportunities. There will be significant uncertainty over the coming months as the detailed political and legal issues are worked out, and business confidence may be impacted. … ”
Mark Weinberger, EY global chairman and CEO:
“Today’s UK referendum results on European Union membership will mean more uncertainty for businesses around the world as they navigate the complex implications of the UK leaving the EU. In a global economy already struggling with slow growth, this may further dampen the outlook. The broader consequences to the EU also remain uncertain at this time. The UK has strong political, economic and financial systems and is well able to deal with short- and longer-term effects of Brexit. …”
Ian Stewart, chief economist of Deloitte UK:
“Negotiating and implementing Britain’s withdrawal from the EU is huge task. But in tackling it our nation can draw on great strengths. The UK is in the top tier of the world’s most competitive economies. We have strong institutions and a highly skilled workforce.
"Our economy is a magnet for inward investment and enjoys one of the lowest unemployment rates in Europe. The UK faces a period of uncertainty and of great change. But the resilience and dynamism of our economy and institutions will be huge advantages as we start to navigate a prosperous future outside the EU.”
Giles Williams, financial services partner at KPMG in the UK:
“Although it was well known that the referendum result would be a close call, the leave vote will send a shudder through the financial services industry. The harsh reality of the probable changes to passporting arrangements and market structure, our clients’ operating models and engagement with the wider economy across Europe will now sink in. Of course we will see short term volatility which is a natural consequence of a vote of this nature. The critical issue is how this will play out going forward.
“The Financial Services industry needs to quickly develop its ‘asks’ of politicians to make sure that financial services can continue to play its crucial role in the wider economy. It is critical that the negotiating teams fully understand the implications and consequences of dislocating European capital markets, banking, insurance and asset management on the economy both here in the UK and in Europe.
“In terms of priorities for the economy, the ability for Europe to access London’s well developed markets in insurance, securities and banking is critical. Equally UK-based firms must be able to continue to provide financial solutions to the market, corporates and individual citizens across Europe and internationally.”
U.S. Treasury Secretary Jack Lew:
“The people of the United Kingdom have spoken and we respect their decision. We will work closely with both London and Brussels and our international partners to ensure continued economic stability, security, and prosperity in Europe and beyond.
“We continue to monitor developments in financial markets. I have been in regular contact in recent weeks with my counterparts and financial market participants in the UK, EU and globally and we are continuing to consult closely. The UK and other policymakers have the tools necessary to support financial stability, which is key to economic growth.”
U.S. Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Thomas J. Donohue:
“The British people have opted for change. Whether this break with the status quo benefits the U.K. in the long run will depend chiefly on the choices awaiting policymakers in the months ahead.
“While some uncertainty is unavoidable in the near term, the first order of business will be to reassure investors about those choices and avoid precipitous action in the coming negotiations with the EU.
“Britain has a proud history of leadership in free enterprise and free trade and as a leader of the Atlantic Alliance. Redoubling this commitment to openness in trade and investment, prudent but not overbearing regulation, and close cooperation with friends and allies abroad will be essential in the months ahead.
“American companies’ investments in Britain are worth more than half a trillion dollars, and many of those investments were made to reach not just British consumers but those in the European mainland as well. We are committed to working with the U.K. government to ensure that the priorities of these stakeholders are taken into account in the debates that lie ahead.”