I was out fairly late last night at an industry function and almost forgot that I had an internal Brexit briefing here at Fidessa Towers this morning. As the memories of the fine Barolos I’d been served rescinded, I engaged with my dear friend and colleague Dr Voigt on what the whole Brexit thing might mean for our industry. Christian made some good points as usual, including that MiFID et al are actually (or will be) enshrined in UK law and so until a Brexit actually happens our industry will be bound to operate under all its rules. Post-Brexit it’s a different story, and at the heart of the issue is the passporting of financial services in Europe. If this pawn was sacrificed in the bigger political negotiations, then the UK might be tempted to start unpicking some of the ’sillier’ rules (e.g. the dark pool caps) in order to create a more benign, and therefore more attractive, regulatory environment. I am not sure how Brussels would react to an offshore trading hub that operated this way – would they then start to unwind their own rules and would we see a slow but steady reversal of the regulatory straightjacket our industry operates within?
As the discussion continued we all started to realise that similar conversations were probably taking place amongst folks in every other industry and we then saw just how enormous (and uncertain) a task Brexiting will be. Thankfully, as a technology company that already operates in over 50 different regulatory jurisdictions, our job is relatively easy as we simply have to connect our customers to markets. For the industry as whole there is much more to ponder.