HM Treasury

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07 May 2009

Report sets out vision for UK financial services sector

A reformed financial services sector will play an important role in Britain’s economic recovery, according to a report published today by the Financial Services Global Competitiveness Group, co-chaired by the Chancellor Alistair Darling and former Citi Chairman Sir Win Bischoff.

The report, which reflects the view of the UK’s financial services leaders, states that the UK’s financial services sector can continue to be a world leader by working as a genuine partner of British business and emerging economies while embracing the need for global regulatory reform.

The Group was tasked in June 2008 with examining the medium to long-term challenges to London’s continued success in global financial markets.  Working against the backdrop of the most severe financial crisis in generations, the Group has proposed a ten to fifteen year framework for strengthening the UK’s place in the rapidly changing global financial services industry.

The report highlights the contribution of regional financial centres, noting that the majority of financial sector jobs are based outside the City of London, providing employment for hundreds of thousands of workers in regional economies.  It also argues that the UK-based industry must seize opportunities to help meet the financial services needs of businesses and citizens in emerging markets, such as China.

The Group acknowledges the huge fiscal costs of the banking crisis to the global economy, taxpayers and public finances, and strongly argues that effective regulation – with the UK taking a leading role in formulating global and European standards – will be the most important determinant of the sector’s future success.

Alongside regulation, the Report also highlights the importance of maintaining effective long-term performance in areas such as the UK’s skills base, tax environment, innovation and promotional efforts to ensure that the financial services sector is well positioned to play a role in meeting the future economic opportunities of the UK and global economy.

Speaking ahead of the Report’s formal launch at the London School of Economics, Alistair Darling said:

“Next month, we will publish proposals for strengthening the regulation of the financial services industry.  Building on that we need to plan for the future.  Britain has been a world leader in banking for centuries.  Financial services will always be an important part of our own economy, and not just in London.  We will all gain from a strong and competitive financial services sector that helps to meet important needs like small business financing, clean energy infrastructure and investment for retirement.  And we will also gain from a strengthened financial services sector throughout the world.”

Sir Win Bischoff said:

"International financial services are not a zero sum game: progress in one country need not come at the expense of another. It is strongly in the UK's interest to build on its existing relationships with capital markets around the world, especially in the emerging economies. The timing is right as the financial landscape is changing around the world and we must make sure that world-class centres like London participate and benefit from this trend." 

Notes for Editors

1. The Chancellor announced during his Mansion House speech in June 2008 that a forum would be set up to examine medium- to long-term challenges to London’s continued competitiveness in international financial markets.

2. Co-chaired by the Chancellor and Sir Win Bischoff, then (and now former) Chairman of Citi, the Group was established in July 2008 and has met monthly to consider how the changing international economic landscape and the emergence of new financial centres will affect the UK financial services sector’s long-term strategy.

3. The members of the Group on Financial Services Global Competitiveness include:


Rt. Hon. Alistair Darling, MP, Chancellor of the Exchequer

Sir Win Bischoff, Former Chairman, Citigroup Inc


Mr David Blitzer, Senior Managing Director, The Blackstone Group

Sir David Clementi

Mr Michael Dobson, Chief Executive, Schroders

Mr Stuart Fraser, Chairman of the Policy and Resources Committee, City of London Corporation

Dame Clara Furse, Chief Executive, London Stock Exchange Group

Mr Anshu Jain, Head of Global Marketes, Member of the Management Board, Deutsche Bank AG

Mr Robert Jenkins, Chairman of the Investment Management Association

Mr Archie Kane, Group Executive Director, Insurance, Lloyds Banking Group

Mr Richard Lambert, Director General, Confederation of British Industry

Lord Levene of Portsoken KBE, Chairman, Lloyd’s of London

Sir David Lewis, Lord Mayor of London 2007-2008

The Rt. Hon The Lord Mayor of London Alderman Ian Luder

Sir Callum McCarthy, Former Chairman, Financial Services Authority

Mr William Mills, Chief Executive Officer, Western Europe, Middle East and Africa, Citi

Lord Myners, Financial Services Secretary, HM Treasury

Mr Stuart Popham, Senior Partner, Clifford Chance

Mr Kieran Poynter, Former Chairman, PricewaterhouseCoopers

Ms Barbara Ridpath, Chief Executive, International Centre for Financial Regulation

Mr Tom Scholar, Second Permanent Secretary, HM Treasury

Mr Antonio Simoes, Group Director of Strategy, HSBC Holdings plc

Mr André Villeneuve, Former Chairman, LIFFE4. 

The Group was served by a core Secretariat, staffed by Citi, HM Treasury and the City of London Corporation. 

5. The report can be found on the Treasury’s website:


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