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British government ushers in sweeping new financial rules

British Chancellor Jeremy Hunt leaves the weekly cabinet meeting at No.10 Downing Street on November 1. Photo by Hugo Philpott/UPI
British Chancellor Jeremy Hunt leaves the weekly cabinet meeting at No.10 Downing Street on November 1. Photo by Hugo Philpott/UPI | License Photo

Dec. 9 (UPI) -- Calling it the most sweeping overhaul of financial regulations in 30 years, the British government introduced a slew of banking changes on Friday meant to "turbocharge growth." Opponents fear the changes would put the economy at risk.

The so-called "Edinburgh Reforms" are being packaged as post-Brexit measures that demonstrate Britain's ability to create financial legislation specific to the needs of the country rather than the region.

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Some rules put in place after the 2008 financial crisis, such as forcing backs to legally separate retail banking from riskier investment operations, will be under review. Laws governing how senior finance executives are hired, monitored and fined will be overhauled.

The rules will usher in new measures around the bundling of investments together into tradeable units, which is called securitization.

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"We are committed to securing the UK's status as one of the most open, dynamic and competitive financial services hubs in the world," British Chancellor Jeremy Hunt said in a statement.

"The Edinburgh Reforms seize on our Brexit freedoms to deliver an agile and home-grown regulatory regime that works in the interest of British people and our businesses. And we will go further -- delivering reform of burdensome EU laws that choke off growth in other industries such as digital technology and life sciences."

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The British government said the rule changes, some 30 in all, are meant to make Britain the globe's top center for sustainable finance by helping to unlock needed private financing.

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Labor Party shadow city minister Tulip Siddiq said removing many of the restrictions born out of the 2008 financial crisis is dooming the country to repeat the same mistakes.

"That this comes after the Tories crashed our economy is beyond misguided," Siddiq said.

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