UK as a Financial Services Hub — [Graham Stringer in the Chair]

Part of the debate – in Westminster Hall at 9:30 am on 6th February 2019.

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Photo of Bim Afolami Bim Afolami Conservative, Hitchin and Harpenden 9:30 am, 6th February 2019

My hon. Friend is completely right. Later in my remarks, I will talk about the regional aspects of our financial services sector. Suffice it to say, I called this debate because I believe that our world-leading position in financial services is at risk. That will have an impact not only on London, but on regions outside London, and on industries such as the insurance industry in my hon. Friend’s constituency and across the country.

We must remember that despite the appalling financial crisis of 10 years ago, in which many institutions and firms were culpable of incompetence and wrongdoing—if not outright illegality—the British financial services sector is a national asset and a public good. It is our most successful sector and export. I will try my hardest not to get trapped in a Brexit rabbit hole during the debate, but I will make this point: in post-Brexit Britain, we will have to adapt our financial services sector to ensure that in the next 20 years, the UK remains the world’s global financial services hub, facilitating business and creating growth from Bangor to Bangalore and from Hitchin to Helsinki.