Born and raised in West Wales and a fluent Welsh-speaker, Swinburne was educated at Llandysul Grammar School and went on to earn a degree in Biochemistry and Microbiology and a PhD in medical research from King's College London, and an MBA from the University of Surrey, before starting a career in international healthcare and finance.
A successful career in investment banking has given her an in-depth knowledge of the global financial markets, specialising in advisory work for pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies, including M&A, venture capital investments, mezzanine financing and IPOs.
Early Political career
She spent six years [29 May 2003 – 24 March 2009] as a Town Councillor for Ledbury Parish Council; and was elected Mayor in 2006.
Later in 2006, she also stood to be a Conservative Councillor on Herefordshire County Council and was duly appointed, serving as Chair of the Health Scrutiny committee. During this time she also served as Deputy Chair of the North Herefordshire Conservatives Association (NHCA). She stepped down as a County Councillor in March 2010.
On 28 March 2008 it was announced that she was to head the Welsh Conservatives' list of candidates for the 2009 European Parliament election, effectively guaranteeing her a seat in the European Parliament. Her election in June 2009 was notable for being the first time the Conservative Party topped an election in Wales since 1918.
She is a member of the Welsh Conservatives. The Party has 14 Assembly Members, eight members of parliament, a Member of the European Parliament and over 100 Councilors across Wales; representing the people and communities of Wales. She is also a member of the Welsh Conservatives Party Board.
In the European Parliament, Swinburne sits in the European Conservatives and Reformists (ECR Group), a Conservative Party led group created in 2009 to campaign for urgent reform of the European Union. She is a member of the Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs, and formerly a substitute for the EuroMed Parliamentary Assembly (DMED): the Union for the Mediterranean which promotes economic integration and democratic reform across 16 neighbours to the EU's south in North Africa and the Middle East and the European Parliament Delegation to Palestine. She also was the ECR Group's Co-ordinator on the Special Committee on the Financial, Economic and Social Crisis (CRIS). Her extensive meetings with lobbyists for the financial industry have been criticised.
European Parliament Committees
- Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs (ECON) [16 September 2009 – present]
- Special Committee on the Financial, Economic and Social Crisis [08.10.2009 – 31 July 2011]
- Committee on Culture and Education (CULT) [25 January 2012 – present]
- Committee on Foreign Affairs (AFET) [07.09.2009 – 23 June 2010]
During her first term as MEP for Wales, she was the Rapporteur on three reports for the ECON committee:
- REPORT on regulation of trading in financial instruments – dark pools etc. [16 November 2010]
– Examined the period of unprecedented change European capital markets have undergone, both due to a changed regulatory environment, post MiFID implementation, and due to the technological advancements over the same period. – All set in the context of the period of financial crisis, which the report followed.
- REPORT on the proposal for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on improving securities settlement in the European Union and on central securities depositories (CSDs) and amending Directive 98/26/EC [14 February 2013]
– Following the 2008–09 crisis, financial regulators and policy makers have widened their interest in the post trade environment to ensuring that our financial infrastructure mitigates counterparty risk where possible; is resilient; and serves the needs of the end investor. – This report closely examined the current post-trade settlement systems to assess where improvements can be made to best serve the needs of all investors. Further objectives of this legislation include the encouragement of new entrants so as to foster a competitive environment, a reduction of cross-border settlement costs and the mitigation of counterparty risk which are all addressed in the report.
– The report focused specifically on Central Counterparts (CCPs) and Central Security Depositories (CSDs) as key critical market infrastructure that needs strong recovery and resolution tools, such as living wills, as a priority.
In addition she also acted as Shadow Rapporteur on a number of reports including the Markets in Financial Instruments Directive and Regulation (MiFID II) report, the legislation implementing G20 criteria for clearing, reporting and trading of derivatives, the establishment of the Euro European Supervisory Authorities including the ESRB, legislation on economic governance and the establishment of a single banking supervisor for the Eurozone.
European Parliament Delegations
- Delegation for relations with the Palestinian Legislative Council (DPLC) [16 September 2009 – 18 October 2009]
- Delegation to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Union for the Mediterranean (DMED) [16 September 2009 – 27 March 2012]
- Delegation for relations with Switzerland and Norway and to the EU-Iceland Joint Parliamentary Committee and the European Economic Area (EEA) Joint Parliamentary Committee (DEEA) [16 September 2009 – present]
As former coordinator for the ECR group and UK spokesman on Economic and Monetary Affairs, she has successfully negotiated a number of dossiers concerning the UK's key priority on Europe of Financial Services as well as being part of the global reform agenda since the start of the financial crisis. These include EMIR and MiFID which focus on fulfilling the UK's G20 commitment to reform of the derivatives markets. She has also been nominated by the committee as Rapporteur on a dossier concerning post trade settlement process; this is the first time in 12 years that a UK Conservative has been nominated by the committee to take a leading role on a financial services file.
During the political negotiations within the Parliament concerning the newly proposed Banking Union, she was the only non-Euro zone member of the committee present and successfully gained all political groups support for a requirement for all of the detailed rules involved in financial services to have a double majority of both Euro zone and non-Euro zone members in favour before it could pass into law. A key achievement in protecting the UK's place within the single market, and the way in which decisions will be taken going forwards as parts of the EU become more integrated than others.
A key political achievement was also successfully securing a legislative requirement for a Legal Entity Identifier for Financial Transactions which is now being processed in a facility in North Wales, thereby linking her work on financial services back to her constituency.
She has also prioritised working with the other 4 Welsh MEPs where possible, in particular concerning the use of electronic identification tags for sheep, where the Commission for the first time received a letter from all of the MEPs of one region collectively. As a result of this and a more concerted campaign by others, she has secured a more proportionate approach that recognises the difficulties that Welsh farmers may have otherwise experienced.
- 'Save the Bee': Launched at the Royal Welsh Show, Summer 2011, to increase public awareness of the plight of bee populations in the UK, and Wales in particular. Rates of decline have reached up to 39% in the last five years.
- 'Tell us your red-tape problems': Swinburne called on entrepreneurs and leaders of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Wales to contact her with their chief concerns over burdensome rules and regulations – particularly those emanating from Brussels. A campaign designed to raise awareness but also to deal with legislative problems encountered by small businesses in their day-to-day running. The move followed an initiative by the European Commissioner for Industry and Entrepreneurship, Antonio Tajani, saying he wanted to discover the 10 most-restrictive pieces of legislation for SMEs on the EU's statute books.
- "Welsh MEP candidates". ConservativeHome. Retrieved 28 February 2008.
- "Tory Euro candidate". Western Telegraph. Retrieved 31 March 2008.
- "European election candidates: Wales". BBC News. Retrieved 2 June 2009.
- "Welsh Board". Welsh Conservatives. Retrieved 31 March 2014.
- "Kay Swinburne reselected as lead candidate for European Election". Welsh Conservatives. Retrieved 16 May 2013.
- "MEP Swinburne leads list of Conservative Euro candidates". BBC News. Retrieved 31 July 2013.
- "Tory MEPs cosy up to lobbyists". EUobserver. Retrieved 5 November 2013.
- "Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee: Members". European Parliament. Retrieved 31 March 2014.
- "Financial, Economic and Social Crisis Special Committee: Members". European Parliament. Retrieved 31 March 2014.
- "Culture and Education Committee: Members". European Parliament. Retrieved 31 March 2014.
- "Switzerland, Norway and the EU-Iceland and EEA JPCs Delegation: Members". European Parliament. Retrieved 31 March 2014.
- "Kay Swinburne MEP". Conservatives in the European Parliament. Retrieved 31 March 2014.
- "EU passes 'historic' agreement on bank supervision". EurActiv. Retrieved 23 September 2010.
- "MEP proposes fully segregated accounts". Financial Times. Retrieved 17 May 2012.
- "The European election is no time for a protest vote, warns Welsh Conservative MEP Kay Swinburne". WalesOnline. Retrieved 18 February 2014.
- "UK – Conservatives: Marathon regulation talks seal leading role of London and UK". Meat Trade News Daily. Retrieved 24 January 2014.
- "DTCC Opens New CICI Operations Facility – Member of European Parliament, Dr. Kay Swinburne, Unveils Commemorative Plaque". Mondo Visione. Retrieved 19 November 2012.
- "About the Global Markets Entity Identifier Utility". GMEI Utility. Retrieved 31 March 2014.
- "EU sheep tagging 'nonsensical' says MEP". Daily Post. Retrieved 29 December 2009.
- "MEP blasts electronic sheep tagging". WalesOnline. Retrieved 5 January 2010.
- "The NFU has strongly endorsed attempts by MEPs to change EU rules on the electronic identification of sheep". Meat Trade News Daily. Retrieved 31 August 2012.
- "Campaigns: Save the Bee". kayswinburne.co.uk. Retrieved 31 March 2014.
- Official website
- European Parliament profile
- Twitter profile
- Conservative Party profile
- Welsh Conservatives website
- Conservatives in the European Parliament website
|Member of European Parliament for Wales