Miles Celic's blog – May 2020

As we approach the tenth week of lockdown, I hope you have adapted as well as possible to remote working, embraced the new normal of virtual meetings and events, and you and your families are keeping safe and well.

At TheCityUK we continue to push ahead with our programme of activity, with our response to Covid-19 at the forefront of that over recent weeks. We are progressing an important piece of work on recapitalisation through our Leadership Council. This is identifying industry-led solutions to support the future recapitalisation of UK businesses that have taken on additional debt during the pandemic and lockdown. Led by our Leadership Council Chairman, Sir Adrian Montague, and with the technical work being led by Omar Ali of EY, the scale of this project is inspiring. Over 150 individuals from across the industry directly are involved. I am very grateful for the huge amounts of time, effort, dedicated secondees and resource being so generously provided by everyone.

Earlier this month Sir Adrian wrote a letter to the Governor of the Bank of England to share our initial analysis around the scale of the challenge and outline our approach to finding industry-led solutions to recapitalise businesses and support the economic recovery. We have since been working to develop these solutions, consulting with key stakeholders along the way. I will keep you updated on progress made over the coming weeks.

We also continue to work closely with partners across the world, such as the World Alliance of International Financial Centres and the Global Services Coalition among others, to promote the need for international cooperation as we emerge from the pandemic. As one of the most international industries, we are especially alive to the need to avoid protectionism, regulatory fragmentation and international economic tensions. This is not only vital to supporting international recovery efforts, but also fundamental to long-term prosperity.

Earlier this month I joined a virtual Select Committee hearing, giving evidence to the House of Commons’ International Trade Committee’s inquiry into the impact of Covid-19 on international trade. This followed a written submission we provided to the Committee towards the end of April.

While Brexit-related discussions have been somewhat overshadowed by Covid-19 over recent weeks, they are once again climbing back up the news agenda as the June deadline approaches. We are pushing forward the industry’s priorities for the future UK/EU relationship, have continued our engagement with Brussels and EU stakeholders, albeit virtually, and are stressing the importance of avoiding a no-deal outcome.

One of the things members most value is our ability to bring them together with senior policymakers, regulators and industry stakeholders. While we can’t currently do that in person, we are continuing our events programme virtually to maintain that engagement through ‘roundtables’ and webinars. Our next webinar will take place on 2 June with Deborah Mattinson, Founding Partner of BritainThinks, who will offer a unique insight into the national mood. You can register your interest to attend here.

We have continued to publish research when it has been appropriate to do so over recent weeks. This has included a joint report with Swiss-based business federation economiesuisse, ‘Future proofing the UK-Swiss financial and related professional services relationship’, and a report with PA Consulting focused on FinTech regulation and ensuring the UK’s continued global leadership in FinTech: ‘Enhancing the UK’s Approach to Innovation in Financial Services’. We also continue to deliver work with partners in Kazakhstan and Moscow, focused on FinTech and corporate governance respectively. 

As ever, this is just a summary of work underway. More information on some of our other recent activity and our latest blog posts 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