Stephen Jones, CEO, UK Finance
UK Finance CEO Newsletter – September 2018
With Parliament in recess and summer holidays, August provided a brief respite from previous intense activity on multiple fronts. However, September sees policy, politics and media action return to normal, and there is much ahead on the horizon.
This week, on 5 – 7 September, we will be meeting with several senior financial services policy-makers from Europe, US and worldwide at the Eurofi Financial Forum 2018 in Vienna. It is an event that takes on increased importance in the light of Brexit, addressing issues around the evolution of financial regulation and supervision and the economic and monetary context affecting the EU financial sector.
We will have a strong presence at the upcoming Party conferences. I will be speaking at meetings at both the Labour (25 September) and Conservative (2 October) Party conferences on how we can best support SMEs and drive growth, alongside senior MPs and representatives from UK Finance members and stakeholders, while we will be hosting an event at the SNP conference on 8 October. We are also partnering with the City of London Corporation to host receptions on the Monday evening of the Labour and Conservative party conferences. Please let us know if you are attending conferences and would like to join us.
Meanwhile Brexit continues to be at the forefront of the news agenda. UK Finance responded to the ‘no-deal’ guidance issued by DExEU in August by stating that both the UK and our EU partners should focus on agreeing a managed exit. This would be inclusive of a clear framework for cross-border trade which covers financial services. We will be continuing to work hard on behalf of the industry to ensure as positive an outcome as possible is reached, both for members and for customers.
Domestically, HMG is continuing the process of onshoring EU legislation to ensure there is a functioning legal and regulatory regime in place in the event of a no-deal scenario. UK Finance’s EU Withdrawal Bill Steering Committee continues to engage with HMT and the regulators to assess and review the many legal instruments HMT is preparing. This is an important process that will be of interest to all UK Finance members.
Our latest Business Finance Update showed that lending to manufacturers rose 7.1 per cent in the 12 months to the end of July, although overall UK business borrowing contracted by 2.2 per cent. The Bank of England raised interest rates to 0.75 per cent at the beginning of August. Our July Household Finance Update showed a steady growth in gross mortgage lending, driven largely by remortgaging as homeowners locked into attractive deals in anticipation of the rise.
This month (15 September) sees the ten-year anniversary of the collapse of Lehman Brothers and all that followed, and we will be making a number of media appearances to provide comment on how the landscape has changed.
Putting customers interests first
Customers and businesses are being given more information than ever in order to help them compare different current account providers. Banks, building societies and regulators have worked together to develop detailed information about the quality of service offered. From 15 August individual financial providers began displaying the details on their websites and in branches, giving customers greater choice.
In July we announced an industry wide voluntary agreement to help borrowers on standard variable rates who are up-to-date with repayments but, because of stricter affordability criteria, are currently ineligible to move to an alternative product provided by their lender. Some 59 authorised lenders representing 93 per cent of the UK mortgage market have signed up to the common standards, announced by UK Finance in conjunction with the Building Societies Association (BSA) and the Intermediary Mortgage Lenders Association (IMLA).
In July UK Finance published figures on mortgage product transfers for the first time, which showed that nearly 400,000 borrowers switched product with their existing lender in the first quarter of 2018. This data supports the FCA findings that most customers switch to a new deal shortly after their previous deal expires and most also choose to remain with their existing lender.
Fighting fraud and cybercrime
In August we issued a mid-year update on fraud from the Dedicated Card and Payment Crime Unit (DCPCU), the specialist police unit fully sponsored by the finance industry. In the first half of 2018 alone, the DCPCU prevented £25m of fraud, made 84 arrests and interviews under caution and recovered 8,651 stolen card numbers. This is a testament to the hard work of the DCPCU officers and staff, who continue to work closely with the banking industry to identify and prosecute fraudsters. By working together across the industry, government and law enforcement agencies we can ensure fraudsters are caught and punished. The continued success of the DCPCU is a fantastic example of this kind of collaboration in action.
We also published our Fraud: The Facts 2018 report in August. This shows how the financial services industry invests millions of pounds every year in advanced security systems to tackle the ever-changing face of fraud. In 2017, £2 in every £3 of unauthorised fraud was stopped, meaning £1.4 billion was prevented from falling into the hands of criminals.
We continue to work with the industry and the regulator to develop an appropriate Contingent Reimbursement Model (CRM) for cases of Authorised Push Payment (APP) fraud.
This month (18th) we will be hosting the UK Finance Digital Innovation Summit, which is dedicated to the latest industry developments in technology, digital innovation, data security, open banking, artificial intelligence and cyber fraud. We hope you can join more than 75 industry experts and renowned speakers from all over the world as we explore different approaches to innovation. These include using AI to improve decision-making, and how banks have adapted to the changing skillsets of a younger workforce.
Click the links below for the UK Finance Training and Events schedule and to sign up for alerts:
Events and training
Places are still available for the UK Finance Annual Industry Dinner in association with EY on 17 October at The Brewery in London. This is the highest profile networking event for UK Finance members, with 400 senior guests from across the financial services industry. Booking is also under way for our annual IFABL dinner, sponsored by Credebt, which takes place on 15 November. We hope you can join us as our outgoing Managing Director Jeff Longhurst makes his final speech. For more information, please contact our event team: email@example.com
Booking is open for our first Economic Crime Congress on 12 December. It’s a multi-stream, one-day event, which brings together top international and UK experts and practitioners to deliver timely updates on forthcoming developments in legislation, regulation and services, and to discuss the key economic crime issues of 2018. We also have a series of training courses coming up, including the third cohort of our popular and successful Conduct Risk and Culture Academies in October. We will also host over 30 workshops between now and the end of the year, as well as several free webinars. For full details please visit our website.
Thank you once again to all members for your continued support as we move into our second year at UK Finance. We look forward to another busy year, addressing future challenges and building on our successes as a clear voice for the industry.