International Work Programme

TheCityUK’s international work programme is focused on maintaining and improving the UK’s global competitiveness and that of its financial and related professional services industry.

Our international work programme is focused on shaping an independent trade and investment policy that:
• reflects the commercial priorities of UK-based financial and related professional services businesses
• promotes the international growth of member firms
• advances the UK’s position as a global financial and professional services hub.

We support our members in identifying trade and investment opportunities and barriers, and advise policymakers, both in the UK and internationally – including at the World Trade Organization (WTO), on how to remove these through Free Trade Agreements (FTAs), regulatory dialogues, multilateral trade agreements and global standards.

Our current priority areas include preventing barriers to digital trade and data transfer, tackling regulatory fragmentation, including in areas of growing importance such as sustainable finance, and advocating for greater international recognition of professional qualifications and facilitation of the movement of people – all of which are essential to ensuring frictionless market access for the industry.

We work to deepen trade and investment links between the UK and key international financial centres such as the US, Japan, Switzerland, Singapore and through our wider engagement as a member of the World Alliance of International Financial Centres (WAIFC). We have strong partnerships in high growth markets including China, India and the Indo-Pacific and work to open up long term high potential markets across Africa, the GCC and Eurasia. We play a leading role representing industry interests in Economic and Financial Dialogues (EFDs) and Financial Dialogues and at the multilateral level with the OECD, WTO and other global standard setting bodies.

How our work is currently structured

Our International Trade & Investment Group (ITIG) works with members and partners to provide an overarching framework for our industry’s approach to trade and investment relations for international markets.

Policy area

Our work

Trade and investment policy Through our Liberalisation of Trade in Services Committee (LOTIS), we work to promote favourable trade and investment policy for the industry, regularly engaging with the most senior policymakers and regulators within the international community.
Islamic finance Through our Islamic Finance Sectoral Advisory Group, we provide thought leadership on the direction of policy and activity relating to members’ interests in Islamic finance.
Legal services

Our Legal Services Group works with ITIG and the Long Term Competitiveness Group on ensuring the continued competitiveness of the UK legal services sector, and promoting the strength of UK legal services and the value of English law on the international stage.

Green and sustainable finance

International priorities for engagement include green taxonomies, ESG scoring, access to data and encouraging global convergence on TCFD framework for disclosures. Our priorities are fed into the Green and Sustainable Finance Group and progressed via specific workstreams in Market Advisory Groups and through the wider work of the International Regulatory Strategy Group (IRSG).

Long-term competitiveness Through ITIG, we work with our Long-Term Competitiveness Group to address the domestic policy settings in the UK necessary to ensure it can preserve and grow its position as an international financial centre.


Geographical work:

We run a range of Market Advisory Groups (MAGs) aligned to our priority markets. These groups provide thought leadership on the direction of our policy and oversee the workstreams in these markets. Our MAGs include focus on:

  • US
  • China
  • India (through the India-UK Financial Partnership (IUKFP))
  • Japan
  • ASEAN
  • Switzerland
  • Eurasia
  • New Markets