Home / News / Politics / How Christine Lagarde designed to use EU manners to force business from London to Paris — 7 years before Brexit

How Christine Lagarde designed to use EU manners to force business from London to Paris — 7 years before Brexit

Christine Lagarde, Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund.
REUTERS/Denis Balibouse

  • Kay Swinburne MEP: “My French colleagues were apparently on a goal from 2009 to try and actually get, before Brexit, as much back to Paris as they could.”
  • Swinburne helped opposite Lagarde’s efforts to force business out of the City by drafting reports that upheld the business being finished in London.
  • Swinburne helped “set the scene” for Mifid II, EU financial legislation that has just come in and “could have been a lot worse.”
  • Current efforts to force euro-denominated clearing out of London and into the eurozone post-Brexit “run opposite to the global thinking,” Swinburne said.

LONDON — International Monetary Fund arch Christine Lagarde wanted to use European legislation to force financial business from London to Paris when she was the French financial minister, according to a comparison British MEP.

Tory MEP Kay Swinburne told Business Insider that she collaborated with Downing Street to retard Lagarde’s efforts by drafting a report fortifying high-frequency trading, an area unprotected to attack.

“My French colleagues were apparently on a goal from 2009 to try and actually get, before Brexit, as much back to Paris as they could,” Swinburne told BI. “Obviously it was a goal to stop that.”

The IMF, where Lagarde has been handling executive given 2011, declined to criticism on Lagarde’s behalf.

‘They were already scheming reports’

Swinburne, who first became an MEP in 2009, pronounced she met Lagarde shortly after joining the European Parliament. Lagarde told her she designed to use an arriving legislation examination as a means to force business back to France.

Kay Swinburne MEP.

European Parliament

“Christine Lagarde was financial apportion of France at the time and any women on econ [the EU’s Economics Committee] — there weren’t that many of us — she motionless to take us under her wing and take us out for lunches and dinners to deliver us to the universe of politics and financial services,” Swinburne said.

“She took me for lunch on my very first month there and told me the devise that they had with the Mifid examination that was coming up in 2010. They were already scheming reports to set the stage for holding back trade from London and putting it back in the inhabitant exchanges.”

Mifid — the “Markets In Financial Instruments Directive” — came into force opposite the EU in 2008 and standardised the law around investment services opposite the bloc.

An unintended effect of the law is that it supposing a boost to London’s financial economy, as delegate share trade businesses set up in the collateral to service clients opposite the EU, rather than being formed locally or shares trade on inhabitant exchanges.

Lagarde, who was French financial apportion from 2007 to 2011, designed to breeze reports forward of the executive examination of the legislation given “whoever takes the beginning customarily gets the heading corner and the elect then follows,” Swinburne said.

‘It’s all to opposite Christine Lagarde’s reports’

After deliberating the conditions with comparison colleagues, Swinburne pronounced she enlisted the help of then-Chancellor George Osborne to furnish a paper illustrating the advantage of the stream financial setup, in a bid to urge London from Lagarde’s efforts.

“We got a council position paper that said, HFT [high-frequency trading] isn’t bad, you need to put a horizon around it but you can do this,” Swinburne said. “Algorithmic is just normal trading, at speed, using computers so you need to have manners and procedures for checking that the algorithms don’t do any damage.”

The paper, published in 2012, was patrician “The Future of Computer Trading in Financial Markets: An International Perspective” and was constructed by the UK’s Office for Science with appropriation from the Treasury.

The report’s author, Professor Sir John Beddington, wrote that “commonly held disastrous perceptions surrounding HFT are not upheld by the accessible evidence” but pronounced that “policymakers are fit in being endangered about the probable effects of HFT on instability in financial markets.” He supposing “clear recommendation on what regulatory measures competence be many effective in addressing those concerns in the shorter term, while preserving any advantages that HFT/AT [algorithmic trading] may bring.”

Swinburne told BI: “We set that scene. It’s all to opposite Christine Lagarde’s reports. We started personification the diversion that the French had played so good meaningful that Mifid was going to be potentially the biggest disruptor to the future of collateral markets in London.”

Mifid II came into force in Jan 2018, commanding stricter manners on a operation of financial activities. Swinburne pronounced she is gratified with how the doing is going in the UK and pronounced the legislation “could have been a lot, lot worse.”

‘Counter to the global thinking’

France is still agitating to try and win financial business back from the UK, this time using Brexit as a means to run for new manners that would force business from London.

Shortly after Britain’s 2016 EU referendum, France’s then-President Francois Hollande pronounced Britain couldn’t keep its pivotal euro clearing role after it leaves the EU. Since then, French ministers and EU officials given have regularly suggested that clearing of euro-denominated trades should pierce from London to a eurozone member country post-Brexit.

Clearing houses conduct credit risk, behaving as a middle-man in swaps and derivatives trades to pledge the agreement in the eventuality that one of the parties concerned goes bust. The acceptance of English law and widespread use of English denunciation has done London a heart for clearing globally.

Former French President Francois Hollande with UK Prime Minister Theresa May.

WPA Pool / Getty

Swinburne said: “Do you actually revoke your risk by combining a new CCP [central clearing counterparty] in the eurozone to transparent euro-denominated assets? The doubt resoundingly is no.

“You boost your risk given you revoke your pool of clearing members, you revoke the series of people unprotected to this, you revoke liquidity. In moments of crisis, when all starts to freeze, you have no repo marketplace that can support it, you’ve got no clearing members that can step in and actually offer you a buffer.

“Therefore, you’ve actually reduced your ability to withstand a storm. It so runs opposite to the global meditative on because you need CCPs in the first place.”

Swinburne pronounced European politicians are now starting to realize this, revelation BI: “Now they’re starting to realize that a swap, which is the major marketplace that London actually holds, is just that: there’s another banking on the other side of it. There’s no indicate having clearing of just one side, you need the other side too.”

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