Top stories

  1. David Davis to back alternative Brexit plan
  2. EU regulators highlight anti-money laundering flaws

Stat of the day

13 – the percentage by which UK productivity trails behind the G7 average, according to a new IPPR report (online only).

David Davis to back alternative Brexit plan

CityAM (p1) reports that the former Brexit Secretary, David Davis, will support and provide the foreword to an “alternative Brexit White Paper”, to be published later this month by a faction of Conservative MPs critical of the Government’s ‘Chequers Proposals’. The alternative plan is likely to favour a looser trade relationship with the EU, similar to that recently agreed between the bloc and Canada.

The Financial Times (£, p1) reports that the Governor of the Bank of England, Mark Carney, will have his term extended beyond the previously extended departure date of June 2019, to the second half of 2020. The paper claims that both the Prime Minister and Chancellor favour an extension, as a means for reassuring markets in the run up to the UK’s withdrawal from the EU.

In an interview with BBC News (online only), his predecessor, Lord Mervyn King, was critical of the Government’s preparations for Brexit, arguing that contingency plans to leave without a deal have been insufficient to establish a “credible bargaining position”.

Meanwhile, Politico (online only) reports that the EU Commission has strongly advised officials from EU27 countries not to attend a series of “technical seminars” being organised by the UK government on Brexit, for fear that they are part of an attempt to “drive a wedge” between member states.

EU regulators highlight anti-money laundering flaws

The Financial Times (£, p4) reports on a confidential paper composed by regulators at the ECB, the European Banking Authority and the European Commission, in which “serious weaknesses” in the bloc’s existing mechanisms for preventing money laundering are highlighted. The chair of the EBA, Andrea Enria, told the FT that he supports the establishment of a new pan-European body, “to make sure banks carry out the background checks and other anti-laundering measures set out in EU law”.

Closer to home, the Daily Mail (p38) reports on innovative work being conducted by Lloyds Banking Group and other financial services organisations to protect their customers from fraud. The piece cites UK Finance figures showing £1.4bn of attempted fraud was stopped by banks and cards companies in the UK in 2017.

To learn more about how to keep safe from fraud, visit the Take Five to Stop Fraud website.

Latest from UK Finance

The Bank of England is currently undertaking a multi-year programme to renew its Real-Time Gross Settlement service, and has called on interested parties to provide their views on synchronisation.

News in Brief

The UK remains the top financial centre in Europe, ranking second in the world behind the US for financial activity, says a thinktank (Reuters, online only).

The Archbishop of Canterbury has called for a fundamental rethink of the economy, with more taxes on tech companies and the wealthy, describing the current system as ‘unjust’ (BBC News, online only).

More than half of UK holidaymakers used credit cards to pay for flights and accommodation this summer, with an average bill of £473, according to research by covered in the Daily Mail (p.34, print only).

The IHS Markit purchasing managers’ index for the services sector rose to 54.3 in August, up from 53.5 in July (Financial Times, £, online only).

The Financial Times (online only, £) reports that the top US derivatives market regulator has revealed plans to soften some of its rules for regulating swaps, making it easier for smaller overseas companies to trade in the US, and for US institutions to use overseas markets.

What the commentators say

The Financial Times’ (£, p10) editorial board criticises the EU’s existing institutional set-up for combatting money laundering. In light of recent allegations of money laundering levelled at European banks, it argues for a central anti-money laundering body to be set-up by the EU to “harmonise and enforce rules”.

In a piece in The Times, Henry Newman, Director at the thinktank Open Europe, claims that the Government’s White Paper plan for Brexit “isn’t dead yet”, despite criticism from both the EU Commission and many Eurosceptic Conservative MPs. However, he argues that if the Government’s preferred trading relationship with the EU is rejected, then it should seek a looser, rather than closer relationship.


  • Eurofi conference begins in Vienna
  • UK Finance Buy-to-Let conference.
  • Prime Minister’s Questions returns after summer recess
  • The Brexit Secretary, Rt Dominic Raab MP, gives evidence to the European Scrutiny Committee

For a full list of upcoming UK Finance statistics releases, please click here.

News in brief – 5 September 2018