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Highlights of the City of London Corporation's work on behalf of financial and professional services
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February 2019
Dear Mark,

New UK-EU relationship
As the transition period begins, the focus of discussions moves to future EU relations. The EU remains the closest major market for a financial sector that contributes significantly to UK prosperity. The Chair of Policy has called for the needs of the services sector to be recognised in any agreement. Catherine McGuinness also welcomed the prospect of securing an ‘outcomes-based’ equivalence of financial services regulation. Securing a forward-looking regulatory framework will support the broader UK and EU economies.

Engaging with global markets
We have been supporting the UK’s global trading relationships, and projecting a clear vision of the UK’s global offer. The World Economic Forum was a platform for the Lord Mayor and Policy Chair to express confidence in the UK’s future. Sustainability and green finance dominated the agenda. A City Corporation-led panel explored the UK’s leadership in driving models that are reshaping how the world does better business: from tech to impact investment to sustainable finance. 

Supporting the transition to a green economy was also a priority in Abu Dhabi. As preparations for COP26 in Glasgow accelerate, the Lord Mayor explored UK-Gulf opportunities in green finance and sustainability. The City will be working closely with industry and government to enable tangible progress up to COP26 and beyond.

Building on our long-term trading relationship with India, the Policy Chair visited Mumbai and Delhi. Discussions drew on a recently published report exploring UK capabilities in helping multinationals manage financial, liquidity and operating risk. This includes the UK’s value as location for corporate treasury functions. Meetings also focussed on building UK-India links in insurance, non-performing assets and green finance.

With over 30 Chinese institutions in the City, and more in the pipeline, the City of London has a longstanding engagement with China. The Policy Chair celebrated the UK’s role as the world’s leading offshore centre for renminbi, welcoming publication of the 6th edition of the London RMB Business Quarterly. The report showed significant year on year growth in the UK’s RMB trading volumes. Daily forex RMB trading volumes were up more than 4%, whilst total RMB cross-border settlement between the UK and China grew by a massive 66%. 

Supporting UN Sustainable Development Goals
The UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are a rallying call to the financial sector. We are focusing on reaffirming the UK’s commitment to supporting partners with the products and solutions to meet global challenges. As the Prime Minister hosted the UK-Africa Investment Summit for African Heads of State, the City of London supported and hosted events with partners including the World Bank and Department for International Development. Discussions will inform the Sustainable Development Capital Initiative, a programme of work focussed on increasing investment into emerging markets in line with the SDGs.  

Promoting a thriving economy at home
Speaking alongside the First Minister in Edinburgh, the Lord Mayor issued a call to action to firms. He highlighted that green and sustainable finance must be embedded in the UK’s financial and professional services. The UK’s sector has an opportunity to lead as global finance shifts to more sustainable models. The Lord Mayor next goes to Newcastle and Durham in February and Wales in early March. 

Financial services remain a key driver of the UK economy. Our Total Tax Contribution of UK Financial Services report showed the sector’s contribution to the Exchequer held steady last year, at £75.5bn. This was despite the ongoing uncertainty over the last year. Keeping the UK industry skilled for the future is a challenge as tech, data, demographics and globalisation reshape financial services worldwide. A new report recommends measures to support 1.1 million UK-wide financial services workers to future-proof their jobs and the sector. The report is published by HM Treasury Financial Services Skills Taskforce, led by TheCityUK and supported by the City of London Corporation and EY. 

Addressing senior leaders at the London Government Dinner, described by the Mayor of London’s office as ‘the biggest set-piece speech of the year’, the Lord Mayor echoed comments made by Sadiq Khan. Recognising the need to respond to key challenges, he highlighted the capital’s fundamental strengths, and the role it can play in a thriving UK.

We continue to be grateful for the support given to us by our partners in Government and in the City. If you think there are other opportunities to strengthen the City, please don’t hesitate to contact us at financial.services@cityoflondon.gov.uk

Kind regards,
Catherine McGuinness, Chair of the Policy and Resources Committee
Kind regards,
William Russell, The Rt Hon The Lord Mayor
City Statistics Briefing
There were 522,000 workers in the Square Mile in 2019, with three quarters in finance, professional and business services, new ONS data confirms. The proportion of City workers born outside the UK was 39%. The updated City Statistics Briefing provides key facts and figures about City of London jobs, workers, firms and contribution to the wider economy.
Read more
 
The Architecture for Regulating Finance after Brexit: Phase II
This is a new report of the International Regulatory Strategy Group (IRSG), in collaboration with Linklaters. The report supports the UK’s regulatory framework – among the most robust in the world, and an important competitive strength for the UK. It also points out the UK system will face important choices and will not have the same resources, oversight mechanisms as exist within the European system.
Find out more
 
If you are interested in attending one of our upcoming events please contact our team on financialservices@cityoflondon.gov.uk
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