Sam Woods: Growth and competitiveness

Speech by Mr Sam Woods, Deputy Governor for Prudential Regulation of the Bank of England and Chief Executive of the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA), at the Mansion House, London, 27 October 2022.

Central bank speech  | 
28 October 2022

It's a great pleasure to be here in the Egyptian Hall again – thank you Lord Mayor for hosting us. I'm afraid my remarks are even less amusing than they usually are when I inflict this annual speech on you all. But that's because tonight's topic is deadly serious.

I want to use this speech to talk about how prudential regulation can contribute to the competitiveness of the United Kingdom as a financial centre, and to long-term economic growth. My argument can be boiled down to three points:

  • First, financial stability is the single most important ingredient of competitiveness in financial services. Delivering that stability must remain the core purpose of prudential regulation here in the UK.
  • Second, there is a good case for Parliament to require the regulators to place more weight on growth and competitiveness as part of post-Brexit reforms in which our role as a rulemaker is expanded. If Parliament agrees to make that change we are ready to embrace it.
  • Third, there are good ways of making that change and bad ways of making it. We fully support the Financial Services and Markets Bill as introduced to Parliament, because it strikes a sensible balance between the competing considerations at play.