Articles by Adam Terry on the GC Blog and GC analysis
Global Counsel financial services practice lead, Adam Terry, talks to GC vice-chair and former UK City minister, Paul Myners, and Huw Van Steenis, whose major report for the Bank of England on “the future of finance” was published earlier this year.
We are now 18 months on from the launch of the UK’s Open Banking initiative, which empowers consumers to demand that their bank share their financial data with third parties who can provide account aggregation or payment initiation services. The jury’s still out on whether this market intervention will provide the intended boost to innovation and competition, but already thoughts are turning to what else might be “opened” in the same way.
In his 2018 letter to CEOs, Blackrock’s Larry Fink set some serious hares running in his insistence on the related concepts of “purpose” and “profit”. While a company’s purpose is irrelevant if it is not profitable, he argues, the former must always drive the latter: “purpose is not the sole pursuit of profits but the animating force for achieving them”. These sorts of assertion only get us – and the policymakers taking an increasing interest in this theme - so far.
AI is already transforming the delivery of financial services. This is true both at the highly sophisticated end of the market, where firms make use of AI to execute high-frequency trading strategies and at the level of the individual retail investor, where AI can tailor and deliver financial “robo-advice” to consumers. Deferring to machine judgement and automation is by no means new - automated trading is already the dominant form in most large markets. Yet AI clearly has much further to reach into financial decision making – from investment and trading strategies to client classification and product recommendations.
UK: Global Counsel team members Rishi Patel, Matthew Duhan and Adam Terry discuss the prospects for a Labour government, and what it could mean for businesses and investors, particularly in the energy and financial services sectors.
With British prime minister, Theresa May, stating that the Brexit talks are in their endgame, it is worth looking ahead at where the risks for the government will be most acute in the process required to ratify an agreement under the Article 50 framework.
A distinctive feature of President Juncker’s “political” European Commission was a single set of collective top-down priorities, rather than a stitching together of the agendas of individual commissioners. In 2014, this meant a focus on economic reforms to restore growth lost during the 2008 financial crisis: a digital single market, a capital markets union and an investment plan for Europe. Events inevitably challenged this strategy — an unprecedented refugee crisis, Brexit, the emergence of new security threats — but it proved more resilient than many expected at the outset of the “last chance” Commission.
Over the summer, it looked as if there might be a breakthrough in the long-stalled discussions over eurozone reform. Emmanuel Macron had been elected president of France, promising to overhaul the domestic labour market and make the country more economically competitive. German Chancellor Angela Merkel was quick to spot the signal and the opportunity. She suggested that she might in turn be amenable to some long-held French ambitions for the currency union.
Reforms to the EU’s financial supervisory system proposed this week can be boiled down to two principles: more supervision at the European rather than the national level, and more powers for the EU to keep a closer eye on developments in other jurisdictions.