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Outgoing UK financial regulator says City's future uncertain due to Brexit

Reuters  |  LONDON 

By Jones

(Reuters) - London's future as a global financial centre is uncertain because of and Britain faces a tough task to secure market access for its banks and insurers, a top UK regulator said on Wednesday as he steps down.

John Griffith-Jones, of (FCA), said he believed had successfully made the transition from a financial centre of necessity to a financial centre of choice.

"Little did we know then how this was about to be tested again by Brexit," Griffith-Jones said in a speech to mark his departure after completing a five-year stint.

The FCA's future after Britain leaves the in March next year is all about maintaining a stable and respected position as a "tectonic plate" amongst many others, he said.

"But as we all know, we are not the only tectonic plate in town, and the all-too-adjacent grinding noise of politics bumping up against economics makes the long term outcome uncertain," Griffith-Jones said.

His caution contrasts with pro-lawmakers who say that the City will flourish after and that the EU will be hit hard by cutting itself off from

French regulators see as an opportunity to encourage banks, insurers and asset managers in to set up new EU bases in France's minister said last week that Britain's most important economic sector won't get the bespoke deal it wants.

The EU, meanwhile, is trying to rush through reforms to build a more comprehensive financial market as it faces the loss of

"Very recently both the have set out their views of what the country wants from the negotiations for the financial sector. I am sure we all wish them well in what will be a tough few months," Griffith-Jones said.

He was the first of the FCA, a watchdog that replaced a tarnished by its failure to see the financial crisis coming. He had a rocky start, with senior lawmakers casting doubt on his suitability for the job.

The FCA was forced last month to give parliament a copy of its internal report into allegations that mistreated business customers.

The watchdog had wanted to give a right of reply to those mentioned in the report first, but lawmakers have published it in full.

"A four-year legal process and a dense thicket of jurisprudential argument provide a far less attractive route to redress than the use of 24/7 media and the associated parliamentary support to pressurise the regulator to short circuit due process in contentious cases," Griffith-Jones said.

(Reporting by Jones; Editing by Hugh Lawson)

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Thu, March 15 2018. 00:43 IST