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FS Think-Tank Releases Independent Analysis on the Operational Implications of Brexit

With the Brexit vote just 43 days away, JWG, the independent think-tank for the global financial services industry, has issued a ground-breaking report today - Brexit: changing out the engine of finance.

The report finds significant technical and leadership challenges ahead in the event of a decision to leave the EU on 23 June:

We will have an abrupt start to a decade of uncertainty, as we attempt to maintain EU ‘business as usual’ AND change out the engine of UK finance.

Rather than reduce ‘red tape’, UK businesses will be stuck with a rule book that could change up to 60% while new court judgements change the rules of the game.

A ‘mother of all change programmes’ will be required to minimise the psychological damage of Brexit.

The acceleration of RegTech development will be critical to the management of the programme.

The additional cost of Brexit to already bloated UK regulatory change budgets will be £17b through 2026 not taking into account fines for non-compliance.

The 24-page report provides a breakdown of how operations will change as a result of shifting and uncertain legal obligations. It finds vast operational challenges exist from trader workflow adjustments to tinkering with risk calculations to uprooting management controls and repapering client and vendor agreements - starting this year.

JWG recommends ten key items on the “Brexit Action Plan” to assist senior management in their decision making.

PJ Di Giammarino, CEO, JWG, says: “The rules of finance are inextricably altered if Brexit is the order of the day. The immutable variable for all will be time. Spotting, knowing and making the right changes will feel like having an hour to count every grain of sand in the Sahara during a sandstorm.”

JWG undertook this analysis in order to understand the scale and nature of the new capabilities required if the UK does pursue the Brexit path.

Scott Eaton, Chief Operating Officer, MarketAxess Europe and Trax, adds: “As a global business, MarketAxess is accustomed to operating across multiple different regulatory jurisdictions, and will work with clients and regulators to ensure we’re prepared for any changes that may lie ahead. There are a multitude of considerations that any person and firm will need to account for when deciding on a strategy for Brexit.  The JWG report aptly explores the many angles to be considered.”