Budget 2020 – financial services aspects

Industry News | 11/03/20

The UK Government has published its Budget for 2020. Amongst other things, it was announced that the Government will introduce a Financial Services Bill later in the session to ‘ensure that the UK maintains its world-leading regulatory standards and remains open to international markets.’ This will be preceded by a Reforming Regulation Initiative to collect ideas for regulatory reform. It was also announced that a new levy will be introduced, to be paid by firms subject to the Money Laundering Regulations, to help fund Government efforts to address money laundering. A consultation on the proposed levy will be published in Q2 2020. The Government also intends to:
• call for evidence on the Payments Landscape Review, to ensure that the UK’s payments regulation and infrastructure are keeping pace with one another;
• convene an industry summit on open finance for small- and medium-sized enterprises;
• create a digital identity market, enabling people to confirm their identity (for example, when opening a bank account) without paper documents;
• consult on the regulatory approach to cryptoassets, including stablecoins;
• make changes to the Credit Unions Act, allowing credit unions to offer a wider range of products and services to their members;
• publish its response to the consultation on the regulation of pre-paid funeral plans; and
• review the fintech sector to identify what more can be done to support growth and competitiveness. This will be led by Ron Kalifa, former CEO of Worldpay.