Former Sky finance chief Andrew Griffith will lead the federal government’s monetary companies reforms, together with sweeping plans to overtake former Brussels insurance coverage guidelines, after being appointed City minister by prime minister Liz Truss.
Griffith, an in depth ally of former PM Boris Johnson, had already been chosen as monetary secretary to the Treasury, which will probably be wrapped along with the ministerial place into one position. He succeeds John Glen, who was a preferred City minister throughout a turbulent 4 years punctuated by Brexit till his exit in July after Johnson introduced he would step down.
His appointment comes at a vital time for the City of London, because the UK pledges to speed up reforms to its monetary guidelines after making restricted progress since leaving the EU greater than two years in the past.
Chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng final week pledged a “Big Bang 2.0” for the City, pushed by a post-Brexit overhaul of regulation to spice up the sector’s competitiveness.
The UK has misplaced 1000’s of jobs, greater than £1tn of belongings and billions in taxable buying and selling and dealmaking revenues because the nation’s departure from the EU, with Brussels and European Central Bank steadily demanding extra jobs relocate contained in the bloc.
Griffith may even lead the overhaul of the EU’s Solvency II guidelines that also govern the UK’s insurance coverage sector, with the intention of releasing billions in capital to be invested in infrastructure and different long-term initiatives within the nation.
The position would require a level of diplomacy as politicians look to take a extra energetic position in monetary decision-making, which has lengthy been delegated to the Bank of England. Lawmakers have proposed a monetary companies invoice that will give ministers the ability to problem findings by regulators in the event that they really feel their selections are holding again competitiveness.
Regulators, similar to the pinnacle of the BoE’s Prudential Regulation Authority, have cautioned that the City’s worldwide fame might be undermined if guidelines are loosened an excessive amount of and it turns into seen as a much less secure place to do enterprise.
Miles Celic, chief government of foyer group TheCityUK, stated Griffith knew the monetary companies sector effectively. “Given the complexity of the financial services bill you need someone who can get their arms around it very quickly,” he famous.
“We have had longstanding relationships with previous incumbents and look forward to developing this with him in the years ahead,” he added.
Following his appointment as monetary secretary final week, Griffith stated he would work “with the financial sector across the whole of the UK to deliver the government’s agenda of economic growth and higher investment”.
The former Rothschild funding banker struck up an in depth relationship with Johnson, providing his Westminster dwelling as the bottom for the previous prime minister’s profitable 2019 management marketing campaign. He grew to become Johnson’s enterprise envoy and was picked to problem for a protected Conservative seat within the 2019 basic election.
Griffith grew to become Johnson’s coverage chief in February this yr within the ultimate try to “reset” the chaotic Downing Street operation. Griffith remained loyal to the tip, urging Johnson to combat to avoid wasting his job.
Former colleagues stated Griffith was centered on outcomes at Sky and employed a numbers-driven strategy. They famous he introduced this to his position as web zero tsar forward of the COP26 local weather convention final yr, the place he stored a working tally of firms that had signed up the marketing campaign, earlier than he grew to become export minister.
Lord Gerry Grimstone, former commerce minister, had been tipped by Truss’s allies because the preliminary favorite to grow to be City minister, however Grimstone is now stated by colleagues to favour a return to the non-public sector.