The City of London Corporation has launched a sweeping review of financial services regulations in the UK as it seeks to boost the competitiveness of the Square Mile.
The government’s authority for London’s financial center will push for further regulatory reforms to financial and professional services, focusing on technology and innovation, sustainable finance and ensuring the city is competitive with global rivals such as New York.
The British government outlined an overhaul of the UK financial services industry, dubbed the Edinburgh reforms, late last year. It aims to overhaul regulations ahead of the Brexit era, as well as creating a digital currency in the UK and easing restrictions on UK banking.
After a year of political turmoil and with an election likely next year, the City is aiming to present a review that it hopes will involve all political parties, as well as industry and regulators.
The company said it would focus on overhauling the legislative and regulatory framework, alongside tax reforms and ways to develop and retain talented workers.
The review will be jointly chaired by City of London Corporation policy chair Chris Hayward and Lord Mayor Nick Lyons, who has had a long career in London’s insurance industry.
Hayward told the city’s annual dinner on Wednesday that “the UK is at a crossroads . . . Faced with increasing global competition, we need a long-term sense of direction, a program for government, regulators and industry to act and maintain our global potential.”
The firm said Edinburgh’s reforms and the Financial Services Market Bill, currently going through parliament, were “a welcome start” to boost the sector, which “will benefit from the long-term direction to strengthen and renewing its global position and ensuring it can continue to deliver a healthy performance to the UK economy.”
He added: “This is a critical moment in the political cycle when there is an opportunity to influence thinking and catalyze reform that will continue into the next Parliament and beyond.”
The firm said Brexit, the pandemic and last year’s political upheaval had “infused enormous energy” and investors were already looking for opportunities in other financial centres.
Cities Minister Andrew Griffith, who was expected to attend the dinner, said: “This vision aligns with our reforms in Edinburgh which drive the Government’s ambition to be the most innovative, open and competitive financial center in the world.”
A key part of the review will be developing the City’s role in the transition to net zero and identifying areas for investment and competitive strengths where the UK can beat other global financial centres.
Hayward said: “We believe this vision will drive economic growth for the rest of the decade and beyond, pave the way for prosperity for decades to come and secure the UK’s position as the leading financial capital for the next generation ».