Press Releases

HISTORIC PRESS RELEASE : Gordon Brown urges Fast-Track to Dynamic Single European Financial Services Market [July 2000]

The press release issued by HM Treasury on 17 July 2000.

The Chancellor, Gordon Brown, today called for fast-track completion of the single European financial services market and called for a plan for a 2004 implementation date.

Proposing early implementation of priority measures, Gordon Brown said:

“A dynamic single financial market is key to achieving fundamental economic reform and prosperity across Europe.

“Businesses, including start-ups and SMEs, will benefit from deeper, more liquid capital markets, which in turn will deliver growth and jobs. And consumers and investors will benefit from more competition and innovation, driving down prices and delivering a wider and better choice of financial products.

“Today I have set out practical steps to reinforce the Financial Services Action Plan and deliver the strategic goal agreed at Lisbon – to become the most competitive and dynamic knowledge-based economy in the world capable of sustainable economic growth with more and better jobs and greater social cohesion.

“That is a goal worth striving for but there is a case to achieve it on an even faster track: with will and determination, we can have a genuine single capital market by 2003 and complete a single market in financial services by 2004, bringing economic prosperity to citizens and business across the EU.

“We must focus on measures which will deliver early benefits. And, in the spirit of our Lisbon goal, we must embrace competition, innovation and flexibility.”

Key proposals set out by the Chancellor in a paper published today include:

  • fast-tracking priorities in the Financial Services Action Plan;
  • bringing forward the target date by one year to 2004;
  • speeding up the completion of the capital market – a new deadline of 2003;
  • delivering a competitive financial services market based on mutual recognition of core standards to ensure the integrity of financial markets and protection of consumers;
  • a framework which recognises diversity of regulatory approaches, is responsive to market developments and encourages co-operation and exchange of information between supervisors;
  • developing clear indicators and measures of success – for example, of the depth and liquidity of capital markets and price differentials for standard financial services products.