Passporting: What It Is And Why It Matters

Passporting is top of the list of many UK financial firms’ concerns post-Brexit.

“Will we keep our passporting rights as part of any negotiated deal relating to single market access when the UK leaves the EU?”

What does this mean? Why is it such a problem if UK firms lose their rights to “passport” into Europe? What are the alternatives and why are they so unpalatable?

And what is a realistic scenario given the different “trade models” that are possible examples for the UK post-Brexit (Norway, Switzerland and others)?

This blog tries to shed some light on passporting and why these questions matter.

We also look briefly at different trade models and apply a new metric – the Prism-Clarity “Single Market Access Compatibility” (SMAC) score. This is a judgment-based measure of the extent to which passporting – or something like it – might be possible under different trade models.

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Risk & Regulation Round-up: June to August 2016

A quarterly round-up of key announcements and developments in UK financial risk and regulation: covering 1st June to 26th August 2016.

Links to underlying source stories or documents are contained within individual articles in this blog.

The British EU referendum (‘Brexit’) vote on 23rd June 2016 was the most significant political and economic event in the UK and Europe for many years. So inevitably this bulletin contains some Brexit coverage. We try to avoid speculative treatment and broader political comment, and instead just summarise key announcements and developments relating to risk and regulatory aspects of Brexit.

Against the background of Brexit, the regulators pushed on with their technical agenda in a number of areas during the period. This included MiFID, structural reform (ring-fencing) and various aspects of capital regulation. The new Head of the Financial Conduct Authority warned that Brexit would not give rise to a “bonfire” of existing regulations. In other words regulated firms should expect – at least in the short term – a continuation of existing and proposed supervisory practice irrespective of Brexit.

Still, three themes seem to predominate in the post-Brexit environment for financial services firms:
(1) There will be ongoing uncertainty over both timing and substance.
(2) It is likely there will be some impact on passporting rights, into and out of the remaining EU. This will be covered in a future Prism-Clarity blog.
(3) Firms now have to plan and prepare intensively for a range of uncertain scenarios, while continuing to maintain both BAU and already-known implementations.

The articles in this blog do not constitute advice, but please contact Prism-Clarity for further information, including where to get the best advice.

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Content Strategy: Do I Need Social Media Marketing?

The first blog in this series shared some of our early experiences in the new world of content strategy. Five months after our launch, it’s time to re-assess how content and social media marketing fit into our new company’s marketing strategy.

As a one-man team with little marketing experience, limited social media expertise and no budget, marketing strategy is a challenge.

Especially as we learn, over time, that content strategy isn’t sufficient on its own. Content is not the whole marketing strategy, only part of it. Good content on its own will not do the job. We need to deploy it, smartly, to support other networking and promotional activities.

The big question for my company is still how to convert leads to clients? Difficult for any start-up and this one is no exception.

In this blog we explore this question further and ask whether investing in a professional social media marketing platform is part of the answer for our particular business.

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Punte e Virgola: The Magic of the Semicolon

This blog tries to reclaim the lost magic and tarnished reputation of the semicolon; our most valuable and flexible punctuational friend, and one this writer has kept in close touch with over the years; even at times when it has been blackballed from polite literary society or – at best – tolerated with hardly concealed suspicion.

Lionel Shriver a few years ago described the semicolon as “beleaguered” and “being eaten alive by the rapacious em-dash”. Why should this be? For my part I can’t understand why the semicolon is not the most popular member of the punctuation fraternity.

Quite literally the semicolon “makes sense”. It brings sense to any sentence where it is used; a subtle half-break to highlight the natural breath-point of the sentence and restore natural rhythm and cadence.

We acknowledge in this blog that the semicolon can be overused, almost a fetish for some writers. That word fetish is a bit theatrical, but I see the point. Here we argue that maybe the pendulum has swung too far the other way and – while avoiding compulsive overuse and sordid linguistic gratification – let’s leave some space in our hearts and minds for this special instrument.