LONDON, Feb 22 - Keeping the City of Londoncompetitive should be an "across the board" objective forBritain's financial regulators after Brexit, a UK bankingindustry body said in a paper published on Monday. Britain's finance ministry is consulting on future financialregulation after the UK's departure from the European Union cutthe City off from the bloc's financial markets but left it freeto set its own rules as it competes with New York, Singaporeand, indeed, the EU. UK Finance, which represents high street banks, said theinternational competitiveness of UK banking would be enhanced bymore proportionate regulation. Mindful that the Bank of England is opposed to a formalcompetitiveness objective which would require it to consider theability of UK banks to compete globally, the finance ministryhas suggested some activities could be subject to less red tapelike burdensome reporting requirements. "The sector is of major importance to the UK economy, andthis calls for international competitiveness to be a principleto which the regulators must have regard across the board andnot just in respect of specific activities," UK Finance said. Consumers have faced a string of financial scandals, frompensions to the mis-selling of payment protection insurance,piling pressure on regulators to better protect them. However, UK Finance took a more qualified stance, sayingregulators should also remind consumers that they bearresponsibility for their decisions. Britain's regulators are funded by levies on financial firmsand UK Finance said annual requirements have risen by 11.5% overthe past four years to nearly 900 million pounds. "We therefore believe there is merit in reviewing theoverall cost of regulation, in particular compared to that inother major financial centres, to ensure it does not act as adisincentive for firms to do business in and from the UK," itsaid. REUTERS
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