Growth and competition in the financial services industry will be encouraged and facilitated by government policy as the country emerges from the Covid-19 crisis, Economic Secretary to the Treasury John Glen has said.
Speaking at the Personal Investment Management & Financial Advice Association (PIMFA) Virtual Fest this morning (3 June), City minister Glen told delegates the industry was a core part of the Government's response to the coronavirus pandemic and it had responded effectively.
During his session, Government priorities for recovery following Covid-19, he said the Government was fully confident of a strong economic bounce back and, while investor behaviour will change the interaction between the consumer and capital markets, it will be a crucial element to the UK's recovery.
He said: "We are at a critical time. Financial services is a core part of the Government's response to the crisis. With such a stressful situation for businesses, it underscores how critical financial advice and support is to the country.
"It is important that it [the industry] adapts to the situation that we are in and that it is responsive to the rapidly changing situation people will see themselves in as we progress towards getting back to normal.
"It is an evolving set of issues that we will need to act on. One of the mistakes would be to base our response on that of previous crises. This is a very different crisis.
"We have to make sure we enable competition and growth during the recovery. A lot of it will depend on the shape of the economy and how it evolves in the coming weeks and months. We do not know how behaviour will evolve too.
"We need to think thoughtfully and creatively but with an eye on growth in financial services, which has been a key part of the economy for many years."
Glen added: "The fusion of capital markets and the consumer working together is key. It is true that businesses will have more debt but we will listen very carefully to all sectors to land this in the right way.
"There has been a huge investment in supporting business. And we need to support the bounce back. We have seen financial services firms adapt to the circumstances. By working from home productivity not been impacted significantly.
"There is a lot to be learnt from this crisis. Some of those things will be structural, some will be changes in investment decisions on how public money is spent and affordability given the impact the events will have on the economy.
"Yes, there will be some changes but the extent and depth and how enduring they are is a matter of conjecture.
"For this year, everything we are doing at the Treasury is about getting the economy back to normal as quickly as possible.
"We have gone through difficult times as county and industry before. The Government stands ready to support the industry to get through them."