City of London calls for ‘big moves’ to boost post-Brexit finance

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A view of City of London financial district behind Petticoat Lane street market

A view of City of London financial district behind Petticoat Lane street market, where discounted clothing is on sale, in London, Britain, August 23 2023. REUTERS/Peter Nicholls/File Photo Acquire Licensing Rights

LONDON, Sept 7 (Reuters) – The City of London called in a report on Thursday for a new council which would allow Britain’s financial sector to drive through “big moves” needed to boost the economy by 225 billion pounds ($281 billion) by 2030 and beyond.

Britain is implementing a range of financial reforms after its exit from the European Union raised concerns about London’s global competitiveness, as chunks of stock and derivatives trading, along with senior bankers, moved to the continent.

“We need to be more strategic as financial and professional services, just as some of our competing financial centres like Singapore, which have medium and long term strategies,” City of London Mayor Nicholas Lyons told Reuters.

It was now time to follow up systematically through a more formalised strategy, with clear timelines and targets to ensure that momentum is maintained, the joint report with consultant group Oliver Wyman said.

The council, if agreed, would be chaired by the finance ministry with industry officials and regulators as members.

The report will be discussed with the main political parties at their upcoming conferences, perhaps their last before a general election expected next year.

“We want to get all the political parties to say yes, we can see where this is coming from, we can support it,” Lyons said.

The eight “big moves” outlined in the report largely build on initiatives already underway, such as freeing up capital from insurers by easing their Solvency II capital rules, and from pension funds to invest in infrastructure and growth companies.

A council could make sure that regulators implement Solvency II changes and not “row back”, Lyons said, adding that he was confident the recommendations will be listened to by government and the main opposition Labour Party, tipped in the polls to win the next election.

“If we don’t do it, the City will continue to be perfectly successful, but if we do do it, I think we can be spectacularly successful,” Lyons said.

($1 = 0.8008 pounds)

Reporting by Huw Jones; Editing by Alexander Smith

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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