The financial services industry and the European Central Bank: the UK has won a battle, but can it win the war?

Following a recent judgment in the Court of Justice of the EU, Professor Steve Peers, a specialist in EU and Human Rights Law at the University of Essex, examines the changing dynamics between the UK’s financial services industry and the European Central Bank. With pressure mounting for greater regulation from the ECB within the Eurozone, how might this impact on non-Eurozone member states?  

Until a few weeks ago, two trends seemed consistent in the jurisprudence of the EU courts. First of all, the UK kept losing cases relating to the interests of its financial services industry: on short-selling (discussed here), the financial transactions tax (discussed here) and bankers’ bonuses (discussed here). Secondly, the UK kept losing cases concerning its opt-outs from EU law (for instance, on social security and the immigration opt out, see here).

However, yesterday’s judgment of the EU’s General Court on the UK’s challenge to the European Central Bank (ECB) policy on securities clearing systems bucks both trends. What are its implications for the UK’s financial services industry, and for the UK’s relationship with the EU?

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