Miles Celic's Blog - April 2020

I hope during these extraordinary times that you and your families are keeping safe and well. As will be the case with most of you, TheCityUK team is working remotely, but are all contactable, so please do keep in touch.

The simultaneous demand and supply shock caused by the impact of COVID-19 is presenting a range of unique and unprecedented challenges. The public policy implications are vast, and the very fast-moving nature of the pandemic is rendering economic assessments out of date on a near-daily basis. Action taken over the past few weeks by the Bank of England, regulators and the government to help manage the situation have underpinned stability in domestic capital markets, but given the uncertainty around a resolution to the pandemic, there will undoubtedly be further action in the weeks and months ahead.

TheCityUK’s response to this pandemic has been focused both on immediate-term activity and also on developing key proposals and policy on critical long-term areas. Those factors are relevant both to the success and competitiveness of this industry, but also to its ability to support the UK’s post-pandemic economic recovery and, in particular, those communities that have been most affected.

In the immediate term, we are progressing work with our Leadership Council (LC) to identify how to manage the rapidly emerging issue regarding the recapitalisation of businesses across the economy post COVID-19. I am very grateful to members of the LC for their overwhelming response to support this work and we have convened a cross-industry senior group to take this activity forward, engaging with government, regulators the Bank and other key stakeholders as we develop our thinking.

We have also been making the case for a coordinated international economic response to the pandemic with international audiences, directly and via third parties, and through engagement with counterparts across Europe. I discussed this with the US Treasury Under Secretary in Washington DC during a visit to the US in early March. Keeping global markets open and trade flowing is also a priority and we will continue to make these points through the media and international bodies with whom we have been engaged. We are also strongly making the case about the global need to avoid protectionism in the post-pandemic economic response.

In the longer term, we are focused on this industry’s role in supporting the nation’s economic recovery. Given its significance as a key contributor to the UK economy and overall economic growth, the financial and related professional services industry will play a pivotal role in the supporting communities and businesses get back on their feet post pandemic. We will keep you posted on how this work is progressing over the coming weeks.

Alongside this activity, we continue to aid the enormous efforts of the individual trade associations as they manage the immediate and urgent issues of supporting customers and businesses.

While these issues will dominate much of our activity over the coming weeks and months, we also continue to deliver on other critical areas of our agenda, including implementing our new strategy, which you can read more about here.

While our current events programme has been put on hold due to the COVID-19 situation, we are working hard to deliver an additive virtual programme. We have already held Extraordinary meetings of the Leadership Council via video conference with the Governor of the Bank of England and with the CEO of the Prudential Regulation Authority and Interim CEO of the Financial Conduct Authority and have more scheduled. We will keep you updated on other events in the pipeline.

We continue to engage with key government ministers and officials of all parties. Last weekend, we welcomed the appointment of the Rt Hon Sir Keir Starmer MP as the new leader of the Labour Party and we look forward to working with him and his new shadow cabinet, alongside other political leaders, to help steer the UK towards economic recovery.

As ever this is just a summary of work underway. More information on some of our other recent activity 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