CEO blog: Miles' latest update on our key activity and outcomes

Blog
17 March 2022

Following the invasion of Ukraine by Russia, we have been working closely with members and international partners as well as with government, officials and through international fora. We have terminated our Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Moscow International financial Centre and Forum Analytical Center – notice for which was served in collaboration with other EU financial centres, including Luxembourg for Finance and Paris Europlace, who also cancelled their respective MoUs. We will continue to engage with partners, especially the City of London Corporation and the sectoral trade associations, to coordinate ecosystem issues related to this war and urge that when governments do impose further sanctions that they are legally binding, implemented multilaterally and kept under review as circumstances evolve.

We have been busy across the breadth of our programme since the new year. I am delighted that we have now appointed successor chairs for our Board and Leadership Council (LC): Dame Anne Richards, CEO of Fidelity International and Bruce Carnegie-Brown, Chairman of Lloyd’s of London respectively. Bruce will succeed Sir Adrian Montague when he steps down at the end of this month; Anne will succeed Mark Tucker in June.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank Adrian for his invaluable contribution as Chair of the LC. During his tenure he has progressed the role of the LC, being central to TheCityUK’s response to the Brexit deal, the pandemic and a host of other issues. He was also the inspiration and driving force behind the very successful Next Generation Leadership Council, which has brought a fresh and original perspective to the matters we deal with on behalf of the ecosystem. I know he leaves with the thanks and appreciation of the whole membership.

Our Annual Dinner, held in partnership with Shearman & Sterling in February, was a great success. It was good to get together with members and stakeholders who heard from the Governor of the Bank of England, Economic Secretary to the Treasury and Sir Adrian Montague. Preparations are well progressed for our hybrid inaugural International Conference, in partnership with Freshfields and HSBC, which will take place in London on 7 April. Further information about the event, our great line-up of speakers, and details on how to register are available on our website. Make sure you have also saved 30 June in your diaries for our Annual Conference, in partnership with EY.

Last month, I was part of a highly successful delegation to New York and Washington DC led by our US Market Advisory Group (MAG) Chair, Bruce Carnegie-Brown, and the Chair of the Policy & Resources Committee at the City of London Corporation, Catherine McGuinness. We held a series of meetings with US government officials, regulators and media, a networking reception at the Consul General’s residence and events as part of the Transatlantic Finance Forum. Feedback from members and stakeholders has been highly positive and we are now working on how to build on the substantial ambition and goodwill that was generated.

Our work with India continues to make good progress through the India-UK Financial Partnership (IUKFP). It was very positive to see many of the recommendations we set out in our IUKFP GIFT City paper taken up in the Union Budget of India, which was released at the beginning of February. Last month we also held a sustainable workshop in partnership with the UK-India Business Council, the British High Commission in India, HM Treasury and the City of London Corporation to discuss commercial opportunities for sustainable infrastructure in India. Around 100 UK investors were offered insights and guidance on how to best access government support as well as introductions to potential co-investment partners.

We continue to take forward work through our Regions and Nations programme and following publication of the government’s White Paper on Levelling Up, we are considering where there are further opportunities for government to partner with industry to achieve its ambitions. While it was positive to see several recommendations that we have previously made reflected in the White Paper, we will continue to push this agenda and deepen our engagement with key political stakeholders.

Our City Chairs are keen to do more to promote socio-economic diversity across the industry and we are partnering with the City of London Corporation and their Taskforce on Socio-Economic Diversity to run a series of regional events to explore this further. Our City Chairs for Newcastle and Leeds were also involved in an event we ran for members in the north of England with representatives from the HM Treasury team at the department’s Darlington campus.

Activity is progressing to shape the UK’s investment narrative and strategy. Last month we convened a roundtable with Lord Grimstone and our Long-Term Competitiveness Group and International Trade and Investment Group to discuss this topic in some detail and, as a follow on, will be hosting a further series of roundtables with Lord Grimstone and members focusing on specific policy areas. The first will focus on Solvency II and be hosted in collaboration with the ABI.

Considerable work has gone in to preparing two significant responses to government consultations: the ‘HMG Future Regulatory Framework: Proposals for Reform’ and ‘FCA Consumer Duty’. The former delivered through the International Regulatory Strategy Group (IRSG), the latter within TheCityUK. These have included engagement with regulators, government, the City of London Corporation and industry trade associations to socialise positions and seek feedback. We are also working closely with the City of London Corporation and the trade associations to ensure alignment on messaging ahead of the upcoming Financial Services Bill, which we expect will respond to the legislative consequences of a wide range of HM Treasury consultations.

I was asked to give evidence to the House of Lords’ European Affairs Select Committee in early February, which focused on the impact of Brexit on the industry. Our engagement work with key EU stakeholders continues, with planned meetings with Anglo-Dutch Financial Services Dialogue, Anglo-Italian Financial Services Dialogue and a roundtable in Brussels to discuss our forthcoming Green Finance report all taking place in the coming weeks.

We are progressing two Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office-funded projects to support the development of international financial centres: one with the British Embassy in Baku and Central Bank of Azerbaijan on ‘technology as an enabler for inclusive finance and mitigating security risks’; the other is a capacity-building project to foster industry links between the UK and Kenya, with a strong focus on FinTech.

As ever, these are just a few highlights of our activity. More information on some of our other recent work and latest news can be found on our news page. If you would like any further information on any of our work or events, please contact us.

Finally, and as always, my thanks and appreciation to all those members whose support and engagement makes possible our work on behalf of the UK’s leading industry.

Best wishes

Miles

Miles Celic photo
Miles Celic Chief Executive Officer

Miles Celic is Chief Executive Officer of TheCityUK and has held this position since September 2016. He is also a member of the Department for International Trade Advisory Groups on Financial Services and Professional Advisory Services, a board member of UK Finance and a board member of the Financial Services Skills Commission.