As the world’s leading financial centre, London serves as a gateway to Europe for global investors and a gateway to the world for European businesses looking to expand and invest overseas, argues Lord Mayor Andrew Parmley.
In the UK, financial and related professional services industries employ more than 2.2m people in highly skilled jobs, and contributed more than £71bn in taxes to the national purse in 2015, more than any other industry.
More than two thirds of these are outside of London, with tens of thousands of high quality jobs in centres like Bristol, Manchester, and Edinburgh. Keeping all our financial centres strong will be crucial in ensuring financial inclusion and prosperity across the entire country.
Financial services is undisputedly an area where the UK leads the world, generating a monumental trade surplus of more than $110bn (£87bn) in 2015, a large amount of which was with the EU. To put this trade surplus in context, this is more than the combined volumes of the next four financial services exporting countries: US, Switzerland, Luxembourg and Singapore.
As Europe’s only global-scale financial centre, it is vital that we come to a deal with the EU, based in mutual regulatory recognition and two-way market access, as well as maintaining the UK as a country open to the best and brightest from around the world.
As the world’s leading financial centre, London serves as a gateway to Europe for global investors and a gateway to the world for European businesses looking to expand and invest overseas. Maintaining its function is good for the UK and good for Europe.
When UK and European negotiators sit around the negotiating table, there will be a number of items for discussion. London’s position as a European asset, facilitating the development of linked capital markets across the world, and in the EU, should form the basis of agreement around which mutually-beneficial decisions can be made.
I am a firm believer that the UK can and will maintain close links with our European business partners, but also expand our presence in key growth markets across Asia, Africa, Latin America and elsewhere.
I hope this ambition for global trade and the spread of European products and services across the world is shared by European leaders, as London is the natural hub for international commerce.
Andrew Parmley is the 689th Lord Mayor of the City of London.
Rajesh Agrawal, London’s Deputy Mayor for Business, will be among the speakers at this year’s prestigious Pan Accountancy Lunch, to be held on 20 October 2017 at the Mansion House. Find out more and book your place
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