Call for sweeping reforms to keep London at the heart of global finance

·2 min read
The Scalpel skyscraper centre.
TheCityUK wants the UK to build its capabilities in future areas of global growth. Photo: Getty

TheCityUK has called for sweeping reforms that focus on fintech and the green economy, in a bid to return the UK to being the world’s leading international financial centre within five years.

The body representing British financial services said: “The UK’s status as a world leading financial centre is at risk unless industry, government and regulators work together to boost long term competitiveness, deepen key trade links, and focus on new key areas of future global growth.”

Included in its strategies is attracting global talent by making visas cheaper and quicker to process.

It also wants to strengthen the UK’s role as a gateway through which global investors can channel funds, and liberalise trade with developed markets and emerging markets, with a focus on agreements that support services.

The plan underlines the need to strengthen market share in existing areas of advantage, such as fintech, put the UK at the forefront of tech and innovation, and position it as a leader in financing the growth of the green economy.

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“One of the greatest risks for any successful financial centre is complacency. Europe is littered with cities that were once the leading international centre of their day,” said Miles Celic, CEO of TheCityUK.

“With the right strategy in place and a clear focus on delivery, the UK can pull away once again from its competitors.”

TheCityUK also wants the UK to build its capabilities in future areas of global growth where the UK has a strong competitive advantage, such as data and technology, global ESG (environment, social and governance) markets, international investment opportunities, and risk management.

It said the "highly impressive" growth of new financial centres in Asia and the ongoing progress made by the US has resulted in the UK losing ground in global market share in some areas of financial and related professional services.

It hopes its strategy will create more high-skilled, high-value UK jobs, and attract more foreign direct investment into businesses in all sectors across the UK.

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