CEO blog: An update as we head into a busy Autumn period

06 October 2023

As we enter the autumn, work across our strategic priorities continues at pace. It is also the time of year we get the feedback from our annual member survey, which is run independently by Kantar. It was pleasing to see a strong set of results across all key metrics alongside a clear message that members believe that our priorities continue to be focused in the right areas and that we continue to make good progress on our agenda. I am very grateful to everyone who shared their feedback – it is a really important way for us to measure our impact and effectiveness. You can read more about our performance over the last year in our ‘Annual report and accounts’.

We are part way through our party conference programme, which will see us attend the Liberal Democrats’, Conservative, Labour and SNP conferences. As always, these events are a great opportunity for us to engage with key policymakers and senior stakeholders to stress the industry’s role in driving growth.

At the Lib Dems’ conference, we hosted a breakfast for prospective parliamentary candidates with UK Finance. At the Conservative party conference, we held a member dinner with JP Morgan and sponsored the 1922 Committee/ConservativeHome drinks reception, which gave us a great platform alongside the Prime Minister. Bruce Carnegie-Brown, our Leadership Council chair, joined our packed-out fringe event panel alongside the Economic Secretary to the Treasury (EST), Andrew Griffith MP; Katharine Braddick, Group Head of Strategic Policy at Barclays; and Katherine Griffiths, City Editor at Bloomberg, to discuss the role of the industry in enabling growth across the country.  

At Labour next week, our fringe event will focus on a similar topic, but with an eye on how the industry can enable Labour’s mission for sustainable growth, and I will be joined by the Shadow Economic Secretary to the Treasury, Tulip Siddiq MP, Sarah Pritchard from the FCA and Olaiya Ajadi from the London Stock Exchange Group and a member of our Next Generation Leadership Council. We will also be partnering with Barclays for a welcome drinks reception and sponsoring the New Statesman drinks reception. I look forward to seeing many of you there.

Finally, together with the City of London Corporation, we will host a fringe panel at the SNP conference, featuring Chris Hayward, Policy Chairman of the City of London Corporation and Deputy Chair of our Board and the Deputy First Minister of Scotland, Shona Robison MSP.

In early September, we launched our ‘Enabling growth across the UK 2023’ report which will underpin much of our engagement across the regions and nations over the coming weeks and months. As ever, it underlines the contribution the industry makes to economies across the country, with the addition this year of both a series of policy recommendations for how the industry can further support nationwide economic growth and a study of the triggers that prompt firms to make regional investments.

We launched the report at an event in Leeds with the Mayor of West Yorkshire, Tracy Brabin; joined Scottish Financial Enterprise (SFE) at their annual reception in Holyrood, where we discussed the report’s key findings about Scotland; held a parliamentary reception in the House of Commons to engage with MPs and peers about the positive impact the industry makes to their constituencies. Media coverage generated go in outlets across the UK’s regions and nations has been good and well supported by our Regional and National Chairs and SFE in Scotland.

The themes of the report will also underpin some of the discussions at our forthcoming National Conference, which will take this year in Manchester on 23 November. Confirmed speakers so far include the EST, Andrew Griffith MP; Rt Hon Andy Burnham, Mayor of Greater Manchester; and Anne Richards DBE, our Board Chair. You can find out more about the programme and register to attend here.

We recently completed a two-year review of the international strategy which benchmarked progress against agreed KPIs and identified new areas of focus which have emerged. To hear more about the future of our international work, please join our Member Briefing led by Edward Braham, Chair of our International Trade and Investment Group, on 8 November 2023.

Indonesia and the ASEAN markets have been identified by members as a high priority for future growth and our team travelled to Jakarta for the ASEAN Leaders Summit and bilateral meetings to improve market access and identify opportunities around the new capital city Nusantara. This was followed by meetings in Singapore to leverage the strategic partnership agreement with Singapore and plan the future work program around transition finance and FinTech.  The highlight of the trip was the India-UK Economic and Finance Dialogue in New Delhi on the back of the G20, where senior members of the India-UK Finance Partnership (IUKFP) met with the Indian Finance Minister and UK Chancellor to present industry’s recommendations for strengthening regulatory cooperation and increasing trade linkages. We were delighted to see a positive response in areas such as overseas listings and FinTech regulation.

Following the signing of the Windsor Framework we have been actively pursuing closer engagement with the EU and its Member States ahead of the new Regulatory Forum, which will meet for the first time this Autumn. It is very positive that HM Treasury has agreed to use our Europe Market Advisory Group and IRSG EU Regulatory Working Group as the key point of contact for input.

The US remains a key focus, and we were delighted to welcome the US Ambassador to the UK at a recent Extraordinary Leadership Council meeting. The Ambassador covered a wide range of issues with members, including recent high-level visits, implications of the Atlantic Declaration on the UK-US relationship, geopolitical trends, trade, economic security, the global AI summit, and the role of government and business in the net-zero transition. The new data bridge has been a welcome development and can form the foundation for further work on digital trade. We have also been actively engaging with the UK government to inform its thinking on outward investment screening, as well as responding to the US Treasury consultation on its recent Executive Order.

Earlier this week, we were also very pleased to welcome the Shadow Economic Secretary to the Treasury to an Extraordinary Leadership Council meeting, where she discussed with members a range of topics, including regulation, financing the green transition and unlocking capital. 

As part of our work on green and sustainable finance, and in response to the US Inflation Reduction Act, we published a short paper, ‘Attracting green investment and responding to the US Inflation Reduction Act’, which looks at how the UK Government can meet its ambition to be the world’s first net-zero aligned financial centre and remain an attractive market for green investment. This builds on the work of our 2022 report with PwC, ‘Enabling the net-zero transition’ and proposes action on long-term policy, long-term certainty and nurturing competitive advantage. We have discussed these positions with policymakers ahead of the Autumn Statement, including meeting with the Co-Director of the Net-Zero Strategy at the Department for Energy Security and Net Zero as well as the Shadow Climate Change Minister and Liberal Democrat Leader of the House. We attended the Global Ethical Finance Initiative (GEFI) pre-COP conference in Edinburgh as part of our preparation for COP in late November and are working closely with members to coordinate our efforts to deliver greater impact.

As always this is just a snapshot of our ongoing activity. You can read more in the news and our work sections of our website.


Miles Celic photo
Miles Celic Chief Executive Officer

Miles Celic is Chief Executive Officer of TheCityUK, a position he has held since September 2016. He is also a board member of UK Finance and the Financial Services Skills Commission.