New York wins Brexit swaps shake-up as clearing stays in London



The north view of the Manhattan skyline is seen from the 86th floor observation deck of the Empire State Building, June 24, 2020. Picture taken June 24, 2020. REUTERS/Mike Segar

May 11, 2021

By Huw Jones

LONDON (Reuters) – Brexit forced Britain to relinquish 2.3 trillion pounds ($3.25 trillion) in monthly derivatives trading, leaving New York the global winner in a shake-up of that market, consultants Deloitte and data company IHS Markit said in a report on Tuesday.

Britain left the European Union’s full legal orbit on Dec. 31 and the UK financial sector’s access to the bloc is now limited.

Banks and other market participants in the EU are no longer allowed to use platforms in London to trade swaps, while Brussels has given the United States permission to serve EU investors.

Initial figures in January showed that chunks of trading in interest rate swaps left London for EU and US platforms, and the report on Tuesday confirmed that trend has become embedded.

Market share for euro swaps alone in London fell from just under 40% in July 2020 to about 10% in March, while on EU platforms it rose from 10% to 26%, and in the United States from less than 10% to 19%. Across all currencies, New York fared even better.

“Overall, more trading went to U.S. venues than EU venues,” the report said. (Graphic: Markit Graphic, https://fingfx.thomsonreuters.com/gfx/mkt/jbyprykggve/Markit%20Swaps%20March%202021.PNG)

More worrying for the City of London, the report said the relocation in euro denominated swaps trading has gone beyond what is required by the regulatory curbs as market participants try to trade all their swaps in one place.

The report said over 90% of clearing in euro denominated rate swaps remained in London, however.

“A significant amount of risk to the EU financial systems is (still) in London,” EU financial services chief Mairead McGuinness told an International Swaps and Derivatives Industry Association events on Tuesday.

“This …is simply not sustainable to us in the long run.”

EU banks are allowed to keep clearing euro swaps in London until June 2022 and it will be up to McGuinness to decide if this can be prolonged in any way.

A study by French banks said that only mandating the relocation of swaps clearing would make it shift sufficiently.

Eurex exchange board member Matthias Graulich said he was “extremely happy” with progress so far in attracting euro clearing to Frankfurt. “We have always said we are in favour of a market-driven alternative.”

($1 = 0.7078 pounds)

(Reporting by Huw Jones, editing by Ed Osmond)



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Holidays are back as London travellers head for the sun


Thousands of people were expected to take to the skies as travel restrictions were eased in England and Wales on Monday.

The “stay in the UK” rules no longer applies, meaning tourists are now able to travel to green list countries such as Portugal and Gibraltar without having to quarantine provided they take a post-arrival test.

Keith and Janice Tomsett, aged 72 and 71, were among the first Britons preparing to board a flight at Gatwick Airport on Monday.

The retired couple, from West Chiltington in West Sussex, said they were “looking forward to” their break to the Portugese island of Madeira.

Mr Tomsett said: “We’ve gone through all the hoops – PCR testing – after 15 months of being locked up this is unbelievably good.”

He joked: “It was even worth getting up at 3 o’clock this morning”.

The couple, who are both vaccinated against Covid-19, said they found their pre-flight drive through testing at the airport “easy”, but Mr Tomsett expressed frustration at the need to complete another test after returning to England from their holiday.

He added: “We’re fully vaccinated, we’re going to a green list country and we will be having a test 48 hours before we fly, so why we have to have another one two days later I do not understand.”

The pair, who booked their holiday in October on the “off chance” it would go ahead, said they would not travel to Madeira if it was not on the green list.

Easyjet has reported a surge in demand for flights to Portugal after travellers scrambled to book tickets and guarantee a sunny beach getaway post lockdown.

The budget airline has added 105,000 extra seats to its flights serving green-tier destinations, while Tui will use aircraft which normally operate long-haul routes to accommodate the surge of people booked to fly to Portugal.

Ministers are advising people not to make non-essential trips to locations on its amber list, which covers popular destinations such as Spain, France, Italy and Greece.

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Fire chiefs warn teenagers against risking getting trapped in toddlers’ park swings for TikTok challenge after a rash of 12 rescues in a month in London



Fire chiefs have warned teenagers against a TikTok phenomenon which sees them forcing themselves into toddlers’ park swings and getting stuck.

The London Fire Brigade urged teenagers ‘in their quest for TikTok fame’ to ‘think twice’ before taking part in the challenge and ‘wasting the time of emergency services’ following a rise in cases across the UK.

The phenomenon initially started last year but firefighters have noticed the social media craze sweeping across UK once again in recent weeks. 

Figures show firefighters in London attended 21 instances of people stuck in park swings this year, with 12 of this year’s incidents taking place last month.

Last year firefighters also assisted in the rescue of 52 people stuck in swings and in 2019 there were 32 such incidents. 

The latest warning comes just weeks after firefighters from Ruislip Fire Station’s Green Watch were called to rescue a 14-year-old girl after she became stuck on a toddler swing in Ruislip, north west London, on May 1.

During their rescue, crew members were forced to dismantle the swing and then use pressure to expand it around where the girl was stuck in order to rescue her.    

The Brigade’s Assistant Commissioner for Fire Stations, Jane Philpott, said: ‘Our firefighters attend a wide variety of challenging incidents and far be it from us to judge the precarious positions some people find themselves in.

‘But in their quest for TikTok fame, people have been potentially diverting our crews from more serious incidents and that isn’t something we want to see.

‘Each job our firefighters do attend takes time and we are hoping to prevent further call outs to such incidents by issuing this warning.

‘We would ask people to please just think twice before taking part in this challenge – think of the injuries you could cause yourself, the damage to the swings which have to be cut apart and most of all the fact you’re tying up resources which could be needed for a genuine emergency.

‘It might be a fun story for your friends, but wasting the time of emergency services is serious.

The scenes come nearly a year after a 14-year-old girl had to be rescued by firefighters after she got stuck in a baby swing while making a video for TikTok. 

Layani Maclean had to be rescued by the emergency services after she became  trapped in the swing in Faringdon, Oxfordshire, in July last year.

The teenager had been in the park taking turns with friends to get into the swing, meant for children between six months and four years old, when she found herself stuck. 

Upon their arrival, the firefighters had to unscrew the swing’s chains and try to ease the swing down from the teenager’s waist.

They then poured washing up liquid onto her legs and the swing before eventually freeing the teenager.

Afterwards, the teenager’s mother Charlie said: ‘It was a really bizarre situation to walk into.

‘When my neighbour called to tell me I just started laughing, but when I arrived it was clear it was a bit more serious than I initially thought.

‘My daughter was really embarrassed when we had to call the firefighters, but when they arrived they were amazing.

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Maria Rawlings death: Man charged with murder of mother whose body was found in bushes in East London


20-year-old man has been charged with the murder of a mother-of-two who was attacked “after leaving a hospital”.

The body of 45-year-old Maria Rawlings was found in bushes in Little Heath, Romford on May 4.

Police believe she was attacked after leaving the King George Hospital in Goodmayes, Ilford the previous evening, walking to Barley Lane in the direction of the A12.

Valentin Lazar from Barking was charged on Monday evening and is due to appear in custody at Barkingside Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday.

A post-mortem examination found that Ms Rawlings had been strangled and had suffered head injuries.

Detective Chief Inspector David Hillier, who is leading the murder investigation, said: “My thoughts remain with Maria’s family at this incredibly difficult time.”

Anyone with information can contact the incident room on 020 8345 3865 or by calling 101 or tweeting @MetCC, and quoting the reference CAD3551/4May.

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London and Brussels agree EU ambassador status post-Brexit


The European Union’s ambassador to the UK will have full diplomatic status, London and Brussels said Wednesday, after months of wrangling post-Brexit.

“The EU ambassador will have a status consistent with heads of missions of states,” Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab and EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said in a joint statement.

Originally published as London and Brussels agree EU ambassador status post-Brexit

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US Secretary of State Arrives in London for G7 Ministerial



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MOSCOW (Sputnik) – US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has arrived in London to take part in the G7 Foreign and Development Ministers’ Meeting.

“Touched down in London and glad to be welcomed by @USAinUK [US Embassy]. It was eight years ago that the UK, our indispensable Ally, last hosted the @G7 presidency. It’s good to be back among partners and allies for these discussions,” Blinken said on Twitter in the early hours of Monday.

The G7 ministerial this week will be the first in-person meeting of the member states’ foreign ministers since April 2019. Last year, the meetings were held in video conference format because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The G7 events will cover a range of issues including COVID-19 and economic recovery, the climate crisis, China, and Russia, according to US Acting Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs Philip Reeker.

Blinken’s visit to the UK will last until Wednesday, May 5. The Secretary of State plans to meet with UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab. At the end of the week, Blinken is expected to travel to Ukraine.



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Brexit has caused very few finance jobs to leave London


SPEAKING TO THE Treasury select committee in January 2017, Xavier Rolet, then chief executive of the London Stock Exchange, warned that a sufficiently deep divorce could cost Britain 232,000 financial services jobs. Such gloom was common, as was the expectation that Britain’s loss would be others’ gain. Frankfurt and Paris got ready to welcome hordes of bankers ejected from London.

Four years on, the version of Brexit for which the government opted has been harder than that in most City bosses’ nightmares. An industry that contributes 7% of Britain’s GDP and 11% of its taxes was excluded from the trade deal signed with the EU. Almost immediately, Amsterdam’s stock exchanges unseated London’s as the primary venues for European share trading. Over the course of January, London’s derivative-trading platforms lost three-quarters of their euro volumes to Amsterdam and New York. In the ensuing months, hopes that the EU would grant Britain “equivalence” status for various financial activities faded. British firms are left with two financial functions—settlement and clearing—that they can perform for EU clients, out of around 40. And these exemptions are temporary, expiring in June 2021 and June 2022 respectively.

So far, however, the jobs exodus has been tiny. According to EY, a professional-services firm, financial-services…

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Darktrace shares soar by 40% on London stock market debut


British cybersecurity firm’s market value driven up from £1.7bn to almost £2.4bn

Shares in Darktrace have surged after the British cybersecurity firm made its debut on the London Stock Exchange.

The Cambridge-based company began conditional trading on Friday at 250p a share, with enthusiastic investors immediately pushing up its stock by 40% to 350p a share, and sending its market value up from £1.7bn to almost £2.4bn. The 250p float price was at a lower level than originally intended, in part to avoid a repeat of Deliveroo’s opening-day flop last month.

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NatWest to move HQ to London if Scotland votes for independence


Chief executive confirms potential departure of Edinburgh-based bank after almost 300 years

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NatWest would move its headquarters from Edinburgh to London if Scotland voted for independence, its chief executive has said.

Alison Rose said an independent Scotland would be too small to support the banking group, formerly known as Royal Bank of Scotland, which has been based in the Scottish capital since it was founded 294 years ago.

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‘Kill the Bill’ Demonstrators March Through Central London



Protesters marched through the streets of London, England, on Saturday, April 17, as demonstrations continued in several cities to oppose a proposed UK policing bill. The Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill contains major proposals on crime in England and Wales, including giving police more power to handle demonstrations. This footage, captured by Richard Hastie, shows demonstrators chanting beside the Wellington Arch in London. Credit: Richard Hastie via Storyful

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