Comments from Chris Cummings, Chief Executive of TheCityUK, in response to last night’s Mansion House speech given by Chancellor George Osborne:
“We warmly welcome the Chancellor’s words of support for the financial and related professional services sector. It is hugely encouraging that he recognises what the City’s global competitiveness brings to the UK economy. We agree with his description of London as a global asset for Britain, and a centre for international finance. The news that Santander will base its worldwide investment management business here is a perfect illustration of that.
“The Chancellor spoke of our need to promote our world beating financial services. A clear sign of the Government’s commitment to supporting UK financial and related professional services is the creation of the Financial Services Trade and Investment Board. The FSTIB promotes financial and related professional services overseas and expands export opportunities. We are working with the Government, our members and the wider industry to extend the promotion of the sector overseas, helping the UK to compete more effectively in those regions and countries that offer the most opportunities for growth.
“We also welcome the Chancellor’s comments on the launch of US-EU trade agreement talks. The agreement offers huge growth potential for the EU economy, and we support the view of the Government that the negotiations should be comprehensive.”
“The Chancellor and the Governor of the Bank of England rightly talked about the new report from the Parliamentary Commission on Banking Standards. We would agree that improving the ethics and culture of banking is a precondition of restoring trust. We too welcome its focus on improved corporate governance, as it is important that individuals can be held accountable for their behaviour and actions. However, the conduct and tone of an organisation is also set from the top by the CEO and Board, and shareholders also have a duty of stewardship to hold their companies to account for their behaviour. A strong link between management and shareholders is therefore critical.
“TheCityUK supports the move for good value for taxpayers from the return of Lloyds and RBS to private ownership, and welcomes the Chancellor’s innovative thoughts on how that happens. We agree with his focus on maximising the ability of these banks to support the wider economy, and we will be happy to offer economic evidence to contribute to the ongoing discussions.
"As the Chancellor made clear however, the City is about more than just banks. He recognised that there is a rich ecosystem of financial and related professional services firms who have a mix of jobs spread right across the UK, not just in London."
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