All over the world, regulations have been implemented to protect economies, especially following the major recession 10 years ago. But unfortunately they have not always been executed in concert, leading to costly regulatory fragmentation. Banks have been particularly hard hit by the costs of compliance to misaligned regulation, with resources being drained away from more productive areas. But there are ways to mend these divergences, starting with cooperation between regulators.
Global growth is strong, but policymakers need to navigate uncharted waters and enact complex policy changes to keep the world economy on an even keel. The main risk lies not in economic conditions, but in economic policy debates too often distorted by partisanship. We have a chance to leverage new technologies to lift living standards on a sustainable basis—but we need a more level-headed discussion to chart the path forward.
In the United Kingdom under new government regulation, businesses must report their gender pay gaps. The factors contributing to these gaps are varied, but as Jayne-Anne Gadhia, the government’s Women in Finance Champion, explains, closing them is a must to tap into the full potential of all employees regardless of gender, for the benefit of not only the workers and their firms but society at large.
The UK’s Metro Bank is eight years young, and its drive to grow exponentially doesn’t show any sign of letting up. While providing traditional banking services to its swelling number of personal and business customers, or FANS, it also distinguishes itself with non-traditional services such as ultra-fast account opening, coin-counting machines and pet-friendly perks. Vernon Hill, its founder, explains where Metro Bank is today and where it plans to go in the future.
“Equal pay for equal work” has been a familiar mantra, and law in many countries, for decades—but does reality coincide, especially in the world of finance? Various studies have revealed disturbing gender pay gaps, and the push is on for banks around the globe to disclose wage data according to gender and ethnicity, something many seem reluctant to do.
Until very recently, financial data pertaining to a customer’s account information was made available only to his/her own bank. But since January 13, those rules have changed.
The UK’s upcoming divorce from the EU will not come without costs, and no matter what the eventual scenario, those costs will be substantial and far-reaching, on both sides of the fence. UK banks already have a lot on their plates in the form of new-regulation compliance, but it is now or never to prepare for EU-27 inclusion after March 2019.
Financial institutions in the UK are waking up to the inevitability of Brexit, and thus they are beginning to budget for contingency plans, especially after the Bank of England requested that banks submit their plans for a hard exit. Planning ahead now is certainly prudent, as not doing so is guaranteed to leave banks struggling to cope with new regulations and changing market conditions.
Although the fine details have yet to be ironed out, there is no doubt that Brexit will have significant and long-lasting effects on financial-services institutions and businesses in the UK and the EU27. A hard-Brexit is the most jarring scenario, so what are the likely costs of a hard landing after all the negotiations are completed and the dust settles?
Just as the United Kingdom appeared to be making some progress on determining its route out of Europe, British politics once again threw up the most unpredictable of scenarios. The nation’s general election on June 8 resulted in Prime Minister Theresa May’s Conservative Party failing to win a parliamentary majority.