Bankers win big on UK referendum ballot

The financial sector has used the threat of Brexit via the UK referendum on EU membership to promote its deregulatory agenda since 2013, according to a new study (1) by Corporate Europe Observatory.

How Cameron's referendum delivered victories to Big Finance” tells the story of how, from the day a ballot on UK membership was first announced by David Cameron three years ago, the financial sector has sought and won significant lobbying victories thanks to a complicit UK government and EU efforts to keep the City of London happy.

The appointment of Jonathan Hill as European commissioner for financial services, the deregulation agenda of the so-called “Capital Markets Union”, the impending roll-backs on rules to protect against financial instability, and special decision-making privileges for the UK should the interests of banks come under attack, are all highlighted as the key triumphs of the sector and its allies in the UK government since the prospect of Brexit was raised as a serious possibility.

“It is amazing to see how a government can put itself at the service of the financial sector. Often it can be difficult to see who is a regular lobbyist, and who is a UK representative. And judging by what they've tried to achieve, it seems they've been more concerned with the interest of the banks than with those of its citizens,” said the author of the study, CEO campaigner Kenneth Haar.

Revealing the main developments, actors and methods used in various lobby battles surrounding financial services (de)regulation, the study also examines the work of the International Regulatory Strategy Group (IRSG) to promote the interests of the financial sector.

It also reveals how multinational banking and financial services company Barclays helped convince Commissioner Hill of the need for a consultation on what regulations should be scrapped.

Link to study:

For more information please contact:

Kenneth Haar - - 0045 2360 0631



(2) Corporate Europe Observatory recently released a report on the “firepower” of the UK financial lobby in Brussels. The study estimates that UK financial lobby groups spend approximately 34 million euro annually on lobbying the EU institutions. The report “The firepower of the UK financial lobby” is available here:

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