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UK finance profession sets out priorities for the new Prime Minister’s first 30 days in office


12 Jul 2016


Euro & Finance
UK in Europe

ACCA, (the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants) wants to see incoming Prime Minister Theresa May act fast to restore UK business and consumer confidence.

Following a consultation with senior members in the UK, ACCA has called for a clear plan, continued access to the free market and preserving existing passporting arrangements for the financial services industry to be the aide memoir sat on the top of Theresa May’s initial briefing pack when she takes office tomorrow.

Anthony Walters, head of policy at ACCA said;

“In the fallout from the EU referendum, continued uncertainty risks paralysing business decisions and knocking consumer confidence. It is fair to say that this has been exacerbated by a lack of clear leadership in Government which has left many of those running businesses – and indeed investing in them – feeling uneasy.”

According to ACCA, the priority for the new PM should be setting out a clear vision and bringing some much needed certainty says Anthony Walters,

“Our members believe the first priority for the incoming Prime Minister should be a plan for how and when the UK will renegotiate its new relationship with Europe. The message from the finance sector is clear - strategic direction from Government is critical in providing at least some certainty to UK businesses and households.

“It is vital that the new leadership is able to present a clear plan of action and do so quickly.”

ACCA is keen to reinforce just how important continued access to the single market is for the UK’s future prospects, says Anthony Walters;

“Our members see continued access to the single market as critical to the UK’s future economic prosperity. The PM’s early negotiations with the EU will therefore be watched closely by businesses and investors who will be looking for early signs of which direction the UK is likely to head in.

“If it is made clear that continued access to the single market is both desired and achievable, then that is likely to boost business confidence, whereas any wavering toward a split can only add to the uncertainty. If access to the single market begins to look like it might be restricted, the Prime Minister and her cabinet will need to work fast to assure all that there is a clear Plan-B and that such a plan is achievable.”

Along with setting out a high level plan, ACCA believes that preserving access to the financial passport for UK financial services is crucial;

“The loss of existing passporting arrangements for financial services operating across the EU would be a massive blow for the UK economy. Financial services employ huge numbers of people across the UK and as a sector is a significant contributor to UK GDP. The loss of passporting would make the UK a much less attractive destination for financial services which, in the worst case, could lead to an exodus of jobs and investment to other EU destinations.”

Walters also outlined the potential opportunities identified by ACCA members as the UK begins to extricate itself from the EU.

“Whilst the stakes are incredibly high there are some potential opportunities in the fallout from Brexit. The UK is a net importer of EU goods and so by default remains a crucial trading partner for many remaining member states. Through careful negotiations the UK needs to play this to its advantage in order to strike a new UK-EU trade deal that works in both the UK’s and EU’s best interests.”

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For media enquiries, contact:

Louis Clark, ACCA Newsroom

T: +44 (0)20 7059 5622

M: + 44 (0)7976 778 648

Notes to Editors

About ACCA

ACCA (the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants) is the global body for professional accountants. It offers business-relevant, first-choice qualifications to people of application, ability and ambition around the world who seek a rewarding career in accountancy, finance and management.

ACCA supports its 188,000 members and 480,000 students in 178 countries, helping them to develop successful careers in accounting and business, with the skills required by employers. ACCA works through a network of 95 offices and centres and more than 7,110 Approved Employers worldwide, who provide high standards of employee learning and development. Through its public interest remit, ACCA promotes appropriate regulation of accounting and conducts relevant research to ensure accountancy continues to grow in reputation and influence.

Founded in 1904, ACCA has consistently held unique core values: opportunity, diversity, innovation, integrity and accountability. It believes that accountants bring value to economies in all stages of development and seek to develop capacity in the profession and encourage the adoption of global standards. ACCA’s core values are aligned to the needs of employers in all sectors and it ensures that through its range of qualifications, it prepares accountants for business. ACCA seeks to open up the profession to people of all backgrounds and remove artificial barriers, innovating its qualifications and delivery to meet the diverse needs of trainee professionals and their employers. More information is here: