|The Lord Mayor’s Office have been thinking about how the City of London should function post pandemic and the Lord Mayor of the City of London, the Rt Hon William Russell and the Chair of Policy and Resources for the City of London, Catherine McGuinness have written to the Clerk as follows:
Our Vision for London 2025
There will, in the long-term, always be a need for a central collaboration hub that brings together people and ideas. The City is well placed to be that hub into the future. The firms we speak to are committed to a major London presence. They see employee access to vibrant workplace as a crucial element of collaboration and innovation. We are excited to be publishing London Recharged: Our Vision for London in 2025. We have worked closely with Oliver Wyman, Arup and more than 40 senior figures from industry and policy to develop these ambitious recommendations. We look forward to working with our partners to deliver them to keep London globally competitive.
Speeding the recovery
Post-COVID economic recovery is of course still a main concern for all businesses. As new, difficult but necessary, measures come into force in London, we welcome the Government’s commitment to working with local leaders. The adaptability and resilience of the UK’s financial and professional services in working from home has been a pandemic success story. The Chair of Policy welcomed the Chancellor’s winter economic plan. At the same time, she called for the Government to ‘enable a safe, secure and flexible return to the workplace as soon as possible’. Companies across the Square Mile and the UK have worked tirelessly to deliver COVID-secure offices.
Enabling the green transition
So far, supply for sustainable finance products and projects does not meet investor demand. The UK is taking a leadership role in globalising green finance. It is pioneering clarity in standards, demonstrating credible pathways for transition and opening up access to both capital and investible products. We stand to reap real economy benefits such as growth in green jobs. The Lord Mayor showcased our upcoming Green Horizon Summit. at the World Economic Forum’s 4th Sustainable Development Impact Summit. We are are proud to be co-hosting this landmark event with the Green Finance Institute and WEF in November 2020. Bringing international policy and industry leaders together, the Summit will address the barriers to growth in green finance. It will provide a platform for decision makers to share their solutions and commit to action. Register your interest and join the discussion.
We are also delighted to launch our Climate Action Strategy for the Square Mile. We have made radical plans to tackle climate change, reaching net zero by 2040 – a decade ahead of the national goal. We will tackle emissions, build climate resilience and create hundreds of green jobs. No other major financial centre is so ambitious in its commitment.
Recovery will also be determined by the UK’s ability to deal with long-term competitive issues. London and the UK must regain a reputation for being predictable, stable and strategic to see investment flood in. Firms from across the sector are concerned about lack of clarity around our future relationship and regulatory alignment with the EU. Welcoming news of the UK’s FTA with Japan, which has financial services at its core, the Chair of Policy noted the urgency of coming to agreement with European neighbours. The Chair of Policy’s talks with Swiss regulators and industry came ahead of the UK-Swiss Financial Dialogue. Cooperation offers an opportunity to develop a ‘gold standard’ FPS relationship.
Attracting the best of global talent
It is vital, now more than ever, that the UK remains an attractive location for international talent. Introducing a new immigration system at a time of an unprecedented pandemic is a huge challenge. But it also presents a unique opportunity to hit the reset button. The process can work better for employers, applicants and the Home Office. Our new report, with EY, sets out how the new points-based system – in parallel with developing domestic talent – could be adapted to support immediate recovery and long-term competitiveness. Cutting red tape, reducing cost and increasing flexibility will help to drive economic growth.
Innovation in financial services
This has been a pivotal year for innovation. Accelerating demand has been set against increased competition for capital. We are delighted to be working with Innovate Finance to help deliver the relaunched Fintech Strategic Review announced by HM Treasury, chaired by Ron Kalifa, OBE. This in-depth examination of the sector will underpin growth in innovative financial services – UK wide. Attracting capital to fintech is critical. The Lord Mayor is opening doors to investment into UK firms as he heads a delegation of leading-edge UK innovators on a virtual visit to the US and Canada. The visit will accelerate uptake of opportunities for institutional and venture capital investment from North America into UK fintechs.
The future of UK/US relations
The UK needs to keep its longstanding and hard-won reputation for being open and welcoming. As the Lord Mayor writes – our partnerships with international markets will be key to driving recovery globally. Addressing a City audience President and CEO of the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission. Tarbert Heath, called for greater bilateral regulatory cooperation between the US and UK. He lauded the relationship’s ability to enable swift action in the face of shocks: including continuity agreements to manage Brexit fallout, no action relief and global swap lines opened in response to COVID. Whilst of course a UK-US FTA will deliver benefits, much can be achieved through bilateral regulatory dialogue.
As the Chair of Policy notes, ‘Hibernating through the winter is not an option’. We look forward to moving into the next phase, working with partners in industry and Government, here and abroad – speeding the global recovery.
We continue to be grateful for the support given to us by our partners in government and in the City. If you think there are other opportunities to strengthen the City, please don’t hesitate to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.