Below is a summary of activity highlights that the team has been pursuing over recent weeks. It’s by no means a full run down, but should give you an insight into the work being undertaken to support our members and the wider industry.
Brexit and European visits
While EU leaders have agreed in principle to a Brexit ‘flextension’ until 31 January 2020, uncertainty around the Brexit deadline has dominated the news over recent weeks. Throughout this, we have continued to hold meetings with key policymakers, officials and stakeholders across Europe and here in the UK. I recently led a delegation of members to Brussels to meet with Commission, Parliament and Permanent Representation officials. We were in Croatia ahead of its upcoming presidency of the Council of the EU; visited Stockholm to discuss Brexit and post-Brexit-related issues, trade and how the UK can drive forward work in critical areas such as data; and met in London with the Spanish, Finnish and Italian Ambassadors. Over the coming weeks we will be visiting Luxembourg, France and Denmark to hold similar conversations with officials, policymakers and other industry stakeholders.
Earlier in the month I travelled to the US for a round of meetings with key stakeholders and locally-based members. Much of the conversation was focused around prospects for future cooperation between the UK and US-based financial and related professional services industries, new opportunities for a future trade relationship post-Brexit and what we’re doing to move this forward. In November, Gary Campkin, MD, External Relations & Strategic Issues, will be in New York and Washington DC for a series of meetings with policymakers, officials and stakeholders and will also appear at the 11th Annual Global Services Summit. Our work with developing international financial centres (IFCs) continues to expand. We presented at the UK-Kazakhstan Intergovernmental Commission on our ongoing work to develop a corporate governance code for Astana IFC, and have signed a landmark MoU with Uzbekistan’s Capital Markets Development Agency to support the country’s ambitions to develop an IFC in Tashkent. We have also been contributing to HM Treasury’s work on deepening financial services links with Singapore, Hong Kong and Switzerland and preparing industry input to the DIT’s current consultation on a future trade and investment agreement with Japan. Finally, the Chairman of the Liberalisation of Trade in Services (LOTIS) Committee and a delegation of TheCityUK’s members participated in the WTO Public Forum, focussing on digital trade and data localisation.
This year we held fringe events at the Labour, Conservative and SNP conferences and attended the Liberal Democrats’ conference – all generated really interesting and insightful conversations on the future of the industry and issues as diverse as AI and innovation, diversity, skills, trade, regulation and social impact. As a sponsor of the 1922 Committee Reception, I gave a short speech underlining the importance of innovation and the industry’s strong position on the need for the UK to avoid a no-deal Brexit. This, coupled with a series of useful meetings with policymakers and stakeholders, made for a very successful conference season. My thanks go to our fringe event partners the Fabian Society, Conservative Home and Dods, our panellists and the many people who joined our events.
We have moved!
TheCityUK has now moved office. We can now be found at Fitzwilliam House, St Mary Axe, next to the Gherkin. As we head into our 10th year, this is both symbolic of how far we have come over the past decade and our ambition for the future – it is also a much more functional and modern place to work and to host guests. We look forward to welcoming you here over the coming weeks and months.
A reminder that TheCityUK National Conference 2019 is fast approaching and will take place on 21 November in Cardiff at The Principality Stadium. With a great line-up of speakers and panellists, the event is an ideal opportunity to gain insights into the impact the industry makes to people and businesses and the growth opportunities right across the UK. To register your interest to attend, visit the conference registration page.