In this context, the comments
the other day by Stephen Haddrill, the director general of the Association of British Insurers
, making a pitch for any new pan-European regulator to be based in London seem rather shrewd. I am sure he has sensed the direction the debate about future regulation is taking accurately as we do seem to be heading towards an European regulator in the wake of the Larosiere Report
and the strength of the Franco-German alliance on the need for tougher regulation yesterday gave further impetus to that move.
So, Mr Haddrill's approach of acknowledging the inevitability of a European regulator
but then making a case for it to be based in London seems quite smart. What he is saying is that by basing in London we could ensure that it absorbs more of the UK approach of prudential regulation and avoids a lurch back to the pre-1992 system of product-based regulation that was widespread on the continent and which has its strong supporters in Brussells, Paris and Berlin.
It is an interesting contribution to the debate.
Well, they have arrived at Excel and within a few hours we will find out was has been agreed and what has not been agreed. It will no doubt take a forensic scrutiny of every word in the statements published by the G20 leaders to work out what has really happened. It will also trigger months of debate and negotiation over the detail of how to deliver what was agreed.