Miles’ blog July 2021

With many Covid restrictions to be eased from today, firms across the industry have been setting out their plans and expectations for future working arrangements.

TheCityUK team will be gradually phasing back into the office over the summer and looking forward to reconnecting in person with colleagues, members and stakeholders.

The positive vision set out by the Chancellor earlier this month to secure the UK’s world-leading position in financial services was welcome. His commitments to putting openness, competitiveness, technology and green finance at the heart of his vision, and to affirming the UK’s leading role in multilateral engagements, align with priorities we’re taking forward with members. His recognition of the industry’s role in driving the nation’s post-pandemic recovery and future economic growth was also good to hear. We are in contact with his office to stress the need for government, industry and the regulators to work together to see this vision achieved.

Through the work we are taking forward around the recommendations in our ‘A roadmap for economic recovery’ report, we will underline the industry’s leading role in driving recovery and long-term growth. The report will also be the underpinning theme for our fringe events later in the year at the Conservative and Labour Party Conferences.

Ensuring the industry’s future competitiveness is one of our long-standing priorities. We’re taking forward the recommendations in our well-received ‘Cryptoassets: shaping regulation for innovation and global leadership’ report, have submitted a response to the BEIS consultation on ‘restoring trust in audit and corporate governance’ which underlines the potential impact of proposed changes on UK competitiveness and through the IRSG – which we co-sponsor with the City of London Corporation – have launched a report with Hogan Lovells looking at the UK’s access regimes and regulatory improvements that could be made to help bolster UK competitiveness. I’m pleased to have such a wide range of members engaged on our work in this area. Similarly, our work on sustainability is also gathering momentum, with work planned on the intersection of sustainability and FinTech as well as a new Green Finance report.

Our virtual Annual Conference 2021, in partnership with Citadel Securities and supported by Phoenix Group and PA Consulting, proved a great success. Across the day were a series of fantastic panel sessions around the themes of ‘the future of the industry’, ‘digital transformation’ and ‘supporting a sustainable recovery’ alongside keynotes from the Governor of the Bank of England, John Glen MP and an address from our Leadership Council Chairman, Sir Adrian Montague. If you missed any of the sessions, they are all available now on our YouTube channel. Preparations are in train for our National Conference 2021 on 16 November – a key pillar of our Regions and Nations programme. Held in partnership with PwC and supported by Hargreaves Lansdown, this will be our first hybrid conference and will be held in-person in Bristol and be live streamed. Register your interest to attend this event in person or online on our website.

Working closely with our network of City Chairs, in recent weeks we’ve been engaging with the mayoral teams and the departmental leads overseeing the transition of government operations to Treasury North in Darlington, the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government in Wolverhampton and the UK Infrastructure Bank in Leeds and underlining the value and contribution of the industry in hubs across the UK. Heading into the autumn, our City Chairs are working with the City of London Corporation on a programme of activity focused on green finance, convening members for regional events on the topic, in the run up to COP26.

We continue to make good progress on our international trade and investment (ITI) agenda and on developing a forward-leaning strategy for our work. We’ve been actively supporting the various trade deals announced by the Department for International Trade, including the CPTPP, UK-Australia and UK-Singapore and have coordinated input into the Mexico FTA consultation, and initiated industry input on the Canada and India Free Trade Agreements, the Singapore Digital Economy Agreements and Trade Reviews for Indonesia and Thailand.  

Earlier this month I co-chaired the UK-Singapore industry roundtable with Mukhtar Hussain, Group General Manager and Chairman of HSBC Singapore, covering a range of mutually important areas such as stewardship, taxonomies and voluntary carbon markets. The event was held in support of the government-to-government 6th Annual Financial Dialogue, which saw the launch of the Singapore-UK Financial Partnership – a new era of financial services cooperation which we will continue to support.

Promoting regulatory and supervisory cooperation between the UK and the US remains a priority. Our recommendations for enhancing regulatory coherence across banking, insurance and asset management were presented to the US-UK Financial Regulatory Working Group and next steps to progress the work agreed. We also presented recommendations to the US-UK Financial Innovation Group on better aligning digital payments. Last week we published a paper on this topic in partnership with Eversheds Sutherland – the first in a series of six financial innovation papers relating to the UK-US relationship and aimed at supporting dialogue across these groups.

A call out for members with interest in Nairobi. Our New Markets Advisory Group is currently gauging member interest in FCDO-funded project work related to the Nairobi International Financial Centre (NIFC). This work would help to further build industry links between the UK and Kenya and provide a framework for engagement with the NIFC and future FCDO-funded projects. Please contact our Africa lead Scott Devine to find out more.

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.

Miles