Replacing the outgoing Andrew Griffith, Bim Afolami will take over as the UK’s new Economic Secretary to the Treasury as part of Rishi Sunak’s cabinet reshuffle this week.
The new Economic Secretary – a title often referred to as City Minister – will now preside over the rules and regulations of the UK banking and financial sectors with many still ongoing from Griffith’s tenure.
The ex-City Minister will now assume the role of Minister for Science, Research and Innovation after 14 months in his previous role where he oversaw significant movement in the crypto and digital asset space, namely the Financial Service and Markets bill.
Griffith took to X to comment on his new position: “I’m delighted to accept the role of Minister of State for Science, Research and Innovation.
“We’re on the forefront of revolutionary technological development and I look forward to building on my work as City Minister to unleash capital to support these exciting opportunities.”
Afolami became a member of the Conservative party following a stint as a Senior Executive at HSBC working on corporate restructuring and strategy, as well as having spent three years as an M&A lawyer at law firms Magic Circle and Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer.
He was then elected into Parliament in 2017 as MP for Hitchin and Harpenden and chaired the All-Party Group for Financial Markets and Fair Business Banking.
The news of Afolami’s appointment will be noteworthy for the UK’s crypto market, which has undergone a year of accelerated regulatory progression with new powers being granted by the Financial Service and Markets bill, as well as newly formed guidelines designed by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).
CryptoUK, one of the country’s prominent crypto trade associations, has welcomed Afolami’s appointment and is keen to continue the country’s progress in the crypto regulatory field.
A statement read: “We look forward to working with the new Economic Secretary to the Treasury, Bim Afolami to help realise the government’s ambition to make the UK a global cryptoasset technology hub.
“We will connect with Bim in the coming weeks to share our productive engagement with his predecessor, Andrew Griffith.
“We will ensure he is fully briefed on our sector’s ongoing challenges, including financial promotions regulation, de-banking, transaction limits and bans. We will also highlight the broader value of the digital assets industry to the UK’s economy.”