Miles Celic's blog - November 2020

I hope you and your families are keeping safe and well as we all navigate this second wave of the Covid pandemic.

A few colleagues at TheCityUK enjoyed a brief return to our office when we reopened it in late November, but we are all currently back to fully remote working. Regardless, we continue to press ahead with activity across the breadth of our work programme and deliver good outcomes for members.

With the Brexit negotiations nearing their conclusion, we have continued to press industry priorities and further intensify our engagement with policymakers and stakeholders on both sides of the Channel. Our joint programme of EU engagement with the City of London Corporation has most recently focused on Brussels-based stakeholders, including a series of meetings around last month’s European Council. We are currently focusing on Member States who share our support for open markets, deepening engagement with EU Embassies and maintaining a dialogue with Brussels-based officials. Throughout our engagement, we have also made clear the importance for the UK to remain open, outward-looking and innovative.

It was, therefore, welcome to hear that sentiment echoed by the Chancellor when he set out his ambitious vision for the future of financial services last week. The clarity provided around the UK’s equivalence framework and decisions was also welcome, as was the powerful signal he sent out about the role of finance in tackling climate change. This vision now needs to be underpinned by further detail and we look forward to helping move these issues forward in the weeks and months ahead.

Towards the end of last month, we held the first meeting of our Next Generation Leadership Council (NGLC), chaired by Sir Adrian Montague. The NGLC brings together future industry leaders to challenge thinking and provide fresh perspectives and insights. There is great potential for the group to make an enormously valuable contribution to our ongoing programme of work and we’re very excited to see it develop over the coming months. We intend to keep steadily refreshing the group’s membership over time to open up the opportunity for other candidates to join, while also maintaining some continuity of culture.

Outside of the UK and Covid-19, the big news in recent weeks has, of course, been the US Elections and the electoral victory of president-elect Joe Biden, which puts into sharp focus the negotiations around a UK-US trade deal. In the lead up to the elections, we held several events including hosting US policy experts at group meetings and member events examining the elections, campaigns and implications for the industry. Catherine McGuinness, the City of London Corporation’s Policy & Resources Committee Chair and Deputy Chair of TheCityUK Board, and I will carry out a joint virtual visit to Washington in early December, providing a timely opportunity to update on the political landscape post-elections.

We were well engaged in the recent UK-India Economic Financial Dialogue where we organised the only business engagement element – a meeting of the India-UK Financial Partnership (IUKFP) attended by the Chancellor and Indian Finance Minister. We have been reappointed to run the IUKFP secretariat, working with UK Chair David Craig, CEO of Refinitiv, and India Chair Uday Kotak of Kotak Mahindra Bank. We are also progressing preparations for the business engagement elements of the UK-Japan Financial Dialogue.

This week we held our first ever virtual conference: our National Conference 2020, in partnership with BNP Paribas. The event attracted a tremendous line up of speakers and panellists, including among them the Governor of the Bank of England, Secretary of State for International Trade, the Shadow Chancellor, the Chief Economist of the Bank of England, the City Minister and former Chancellor Rt Hon Alistair Darling. The event was focused around the theme of ‘Recovery, Rebalancing, Revitalising: the role of financial and related professional services post-Covid’, and we were delighted to welcome hundreds of delegates across the three days. If you were able to join us, I hope you found the conference worthwhile. If you missed anything, you can catch up on all the sessions here. Alongside BNP Paribas, my thanks also go to our gold partners, Yorkshire Building Society, DLA Piper and BNY Mellon for their support for the event.

As ever, this is just a few highlights of our activity. More information on some of our other recent work 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