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  • A British Union flag (L) and a European Union flag hang from a building in central London, Britain, in this February 18, 2016 file photo.

    A British Union flag (L) and a European Union flag hang from a building in central London, Britain, in this February 18, 2016 file photo. | Photo: Reuters

As a referendum in the U.K. on EU membership nears, a new report finds that the U.K. financial sector has reaped significant lobbying victories.

The financial sector has used the threat of a U.K. exit from the EU to promote its deregulatory agenda since 2013, according to a study carried out by the Corporate European Observatory, CEO, published Thursday.

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The report details how during the course of the U.K. negotiations with the EU, Britain's financial sector started using Prime Minister David Cameron’s renegotiation process to promote better conditions for U.K. businesses.

The impending rollbacks on rules to protect against financial instability, and special decision-making privileges for the U.K. should the interests of banks come under attack, are all highlighted as the key triumphs of the sector and its allies in the U.K. government since the prospect of Brexit was raised as a serious possibility, CEO report noted.

The study titled, “How Cameron's Referendum Delivered Victories to Big Finance,” also revealed how the U.K.’s EU Commissioner Jonathan Hill influenced decisions of EU financial regulation through the establishment of powerful financial lobby groups such as the International Regulatory Strategy Group, known as IRSG.

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“Among other things, it (IRSG) wanted to see the removal of barriers to the free movement of capital, more specifically to develop non-bank financing of the economy,” according to the CEO publication.

According to IntegrityWatch, the European Commission elite—commissioners, their cabinet and directors-general—in total, held 251 lobby meetings on the Capital Markets Union from December 2014- May 2016.

“It is amazing to see how a government can put itself at the service of the financial sector. Often it can be difficult to see who is a regular lobbyist, and who is a U.K. representative,” CEO campaigner Kenneth Haar stated.

British citizens will vote on June 23 on whether to remain in the EU.

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