CEO blog: Miles' latest update during a busy autumn

13 November 2023

It has been a busy Autumn, with good momentum across the breadth of our programme and key outcomes delivered. As we head into the winter months, there remains plenty on the agenda and the prospect of a year of considerable change ahead in national and global politics, economics and regulation.

We are currently finalising preparations for our 2023 National Conference, kindly sponsored by PwC, which will take place this year in Manchester on 23 November. The event, also supported by interactive investor, will focus on the industry’s contribution across the regions and nations and its role in supporting key issues such as regional growth, levelling up and the net-zero transition. We have a great line of speakers, including keynotes from the Rt Hon Andy Burnham, Mayor of Greater Manchester and Andrew Griffith MP, Economic Secretary to the Treasury. If you haven’t already registered to attend, you can do so here.

We have recently launched the latest iteration of our ‘Exporting from across Britain’ report, which provides analysis of the latest available data on financial and related professional services exports from across Britain. It showed that around half (47%) of all industry exports originated outside London, with the South East, Scotland and the North West making the largest contributions.  Our Chief Economist and Head of Research, Anjalika Bardalai, launched the report at a Department for Business and Trade event in Liverpool during International Trade Week.

Following a successful round of party conference activity, we have continued to engage with key political stakeholders. We have held several policymaker roundtables, including a discussion about Labour’s approach to the Union and our industry with Ian Murray, Shadow Secretary of State for Scotland; the Liberal Democrats’ approach to business and their objectives for the General Election with their Deputy Leader Daisy Cooper MP; and conversations around encouraging investment to Northern Ireland with Claire Hanna MP for Belfast South.

The Financial Reporting Council recently announced that it will pare back some of its proposed changes to the Corporate Governance Code, including additional reporting requirements. We were clear in our submission to the FRC’s consultation about how important it would be for the UK’s corporate governance framework to remain robust, but also proportionate and adaptable in the face of evolving challenges. High-quality corporate governance is the bedrock of the UK’s appeal to international investors, and we remain committed to working with government and regulators to ensure the right balance continues to be struck between ensuring this and driving growth and competitiveness.

We recently completed a review of our International Strategy to assess progress made over the last two years, achievements to date and where adjustments are needed to respond to geopolitical shifts and new areas of opportunity. The updated strategy has been endorsed by the International Trade and Investment Group and shared with members at our recent member briefing.

The first EU-UK Regulatory Forum was held on 19 October, with the Europe MAG and IRSG EU Regulatory Working Group coordinating industry input to HM Treasury (HMT), outlining key asks around time critical topics, as well as medium-term areas for collaboration. We will continue to engage with HMT to ensure industry input becomes an ongoing feature of all future Forum meetings.

We led a senior business delegation to the India-UK Economic and Finance Dialogue in September in New Delhi on the back of the G20 Leaders’ Summit, where members of the India-UK Financial Partnership (IUKFP) met with the Indian Finance Minister and UK Chancellor of the Exchequer to present industry’s recommendations for strengthening regulatory cooperation and enhancing bilateral trade and investment. We were pleased to see a positive response on overseas listings and FinTech regulation, and to receive a strong mandate to take forward IUKFP workstreams on data, AI and machine learning, and sustainable finance.

As part of our work to support the UK industry for future success in the fast growing parts of the Indo-Pacific, we travelled to Jakarta for the ASEAN Business and Investment Summit and Indo-Pacific Forum, and held bilateral meetings with Indonesian stakeholders to improve market access and identify opportunities around the new capital city, Nusantara. This was followed by meetings in Singapore to leverage the UK’s strategic partnership agreement with the city state and plan the future work programme around transition finance and FinTech. We were pleased to support the Indonesia Investment Forum in London in October, where we met with the Governor of Bank Indonesia to discuss Indonesia’s payments landscape and ambitions to attract more foreign direct investment. We were delighted to host the ASEAN Secretary-General, H.E. Dr. Kao Kim Hourn, and the UK Ambassador to ASEAN, Sarah Tiffin, for a meeting with our ASEAN Market Advisory Group and a market open at the London Stock Exchange.

As part of our balanced approach to driving further market growth in Greater China, we welcomed Paul Chan, Financial Secretary of Hong Kong, to an Extraordinary Leadership Council meeting to discuss Hong Kong’s reopening, developments in the Greater Bay Area, and the opportunities for UK financial and professional services businesses in Hong Kong.

With excellent support from members keen to build their market presence in Vietnam we are supporting the development of an International Financial and Business Centre. This work has been recognised as a flagship initiative for the 50 years of diplomatic relations by the Government of Vietnam. This will be formalised by a signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between TheCityUK and the Foreign Investment Agency under the Ministry of Planning and Investment at the end of November in Hanoi.

Reflecting the industry’s strong commitment to Ukraine, we have been working with the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) and members to strengthen the private sector’s role in its reconstruction and recovery. We will shortly start the implementation of a ‘City-Ukraine Hub’ project that will focus on the development of an international financial centre in Kyiv, capital markets development, business-to-business support, as well as capacity building to the Government of Ukraine. The initiative will be formalised by a signing of MoU between TheCityUK, London Stock Exchange Group and the Ministry of Economy. The first phase will run between November 2023 and March 2025.

As ever, this is just a snapshot of our work. You can find out more about what we have been doing in the ‘our work’ and ‘news’ 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.