The UK’s Post-Brexit Future Remains Unclear
As the UK looks to establish its future access to the financial markets of the European Union (EU), Brussels is continuing to attempt to limit the job functions and activities that can take place from within the country. The UK’s current access to the EU financial markets is worth approximately £26bn annually, and the country is set to lose access to it on December 31, when Brexit takes place.
The EU has recently made a number of moves to attempt to limit trading activities made within the bloc from London, which damages the UK’s hopes of a broader agreement for its finance industry. The capital city is expected to remain the biggest financial centre of Europe following Brexit, with trillion-dollar foreign exchange trading still taking place, but this may not remain the case without a wider deal put into place.
For a deal to be reached, EU officials will have to review UK financial rules and deem them either equivalent, or aligned with those of the European Union. This is the main sticking point of the argument, but the UK believes that it should be a relatively straightforward process, with both parties outlining the same rules from the outset.
Last month, however, Brussels ruled that London banks would no longer be permitted to make wholesale investments into investors in the EU, which had brought significant amounts of additional pressure onto London, as it now needs to transfer more activity to alternative, continental hubs.
Following this news, BNP Paribas and ING made decisions to begin transferring a number of additional trading jobs out of the capital city, with the promise to create 400 jobs in the European Union. BNP Paribas said in a statement last week “Selling financial services from the UK to EU clients will not be allowed.”
On Thursday, The Bank of England warned that the decision from Brussels threatens to cause significant disruptions to cross-border banking and derivatives trading, especially in January once the deal is complete, and could even continue to disrupt operations if equivalence is agreed in other areas.
Around the continent, Britain has been making headlines for its Brexit dealings and negotiations. Germany’s foreign minister, Michael Roth, has warned Prime Minister Boris Johnson that he must be more pragmatic and realistic, ahead of the deadline for a deal at the end of the year. As things currently stand, Michael Roth believes that an official agreement between the UK and Germany is looking unlikely.
5 minutes with... Janthana Kaenprakhamroy, CEO, Tapoly
Founder and CEO of award-winning insurtech firm Tapoly, Janthana Kaenprakhamroy heads up Europe’s first on-demand insurance platform for the gig economy, winning industry awards, innovating in the digital insurance space, and leading with inclusivity.
Here, Business Chief talks to Janthana about her leadership style and skills.
What do you do, in a nutshell?
I’m founder and CEO of Tapoly, a digital MGA providing a full stack of commercial lines insurance specifically for SMEs and freelancers, as well as a SaaS solution to connect insurers with their distribution partners. We build bespoke, end-to-end platforms encompassing the whole customer journey, but can also integrate our APIs within existing systems. We were proud to win Insurance Provider of the Year at the British Small Business Awards 2018 and receive silver in the Insurtech category at the Efma & Accenture Innovation in Insurance Awards 2019.
How would you describe your leadership style?
I try to be as inclusive a leader as possible. I’m committed to creating space for everyone to shine. Many of the roles at Tapoly are performed by women and I speak at industry events to encourage more people to get involved in insurance/insurtech. Similarly, I always try to maintain a growth mindset. I think it’s important to retain values to support learning and development, like reliability, working hard and punctuality.
What’s the best leadership advice you’ve received?
Build your network and seek advice. As a leader, you need smart people around you to help you grow your business. It’s not about personally being the best, but being able to find resources and get help where needed.
How do you see leadership changing in a COVID world?
I think the pandemic has proven the importance of inclusive leadership so that everyone feels supported and valued. It’s also shown the importance of being flexible as a leader. We’ve had to remain adaptable to continue delivering high levels of customer service. This flexibility has also been important when supporting employees as everyone has had individual pressures to deal with during this time. Leaders should continue to embed this flexibility within their organisations moving forward.
They say ‘from every crisis comes opportunity’, what opportunities do you see?
The past year has been challenging, but it has also proven the importance of digital transformation in insurance. When working from home was required, it was much harder for insurers to adjust who had not embedded technology within their operating processes because they did not have data stored in the cloud and it caused communication delays with concerned customers at a time when this communication should have been a priority, which ultimately impacts the level of customer satisfaction. This demonstrates the importance of what we are trying to achieve at Tapoly in driving digitalisation in insurance and making communication between insurers and distribution partners seamless.
What advice would you give to your younger self just starting out in the industry?
Start sooner, don’t be afraid to take (calculated) risks and make sure you raise enough money to get you through the initial seed stage.