New Financial

Paper – From Big Bang 2.0 to the Edinburgh Reforms

February 2023 • Topic: Rebooting UK capital markets • by By William Wright and Maximilian Bierbaum

It was not that long ago that the UK government was hailing Big Bang 2.0 as a radical programme of reforms to unleash the City of London and turbocharge the economy. After the short and chastening premiership of Liz Truss, the end result was the ‘Edinburgh Reforms’, a package of more than 30 reforms published with a lot less fanfare last month. This short paper drills down into the reforms, outlines the journey from Big Bang 2.0 to Edinburgh, and looks ahead to the long and complicated process of rebooting UK banking, finance, and capital markets to better support the UK economy and strengthen London’s post-Brexit competitiveness as an international financial centre.

New Financial relies on support from the industry to fund its work. To request a copy of this paper email us here.

Depending on your perspective, the Edinburgh Reforms are either ‘a bold collection of reforms’ (Jeremy Hunt); ‘a missed opportunity’ that is ‘too slow, too narrow, and too timid’ (The Daily Telegraph); a risky ‘bonfire of burdens on the City’ (Robert Peston); or ‘an extremely dangerous and wrong path to follow’ (Sir John Vickers). We think the reality is more prosaic.

>>> In summary