Bloomberg does a great piece examining the limited good of equivalence for post-Brexit UK financial regulation:
While the three paragraphs of text on services [in Theresa May’s planned deal with the EU] are optimistic, they can’t be dressed up as a victory for London. The big problem with equivalence (known about for years) is that it’s entirely inferior to the U.K.’s current privileges as an EU member, which let British firms trade freely across the bloc. And neither will it deliver the regulatory “Singapore-on-Thames” freedoms dreamed of by the finance world’s Brexiters.
It’s available only for some parts of the finance industry such as securities trading, but not for wholesale and retail banking. Retail investment funds, payments and insurance brokers are excluded too. It is patchy, subject to change, and can be taken away by Brussels. Reports in the U.K. press indicate that Brussels has agreed to give several months’ notice rather than one before any withdrawal of equivalence, but this won’t make British finance bosses feel much more secure.
The full analysis is here.