The City of London Corporation, in collaboration with HM Treasury, has recently unveiled the 2023 edition of the State of the Sector: annual review of UK financial services. This marks the second edition of the review, which was first suggested by Lord Hill’s UK Listing Review in 2021. The report focuses on evaluating the international competitiveness and allure of UK’s financial services.
Last year’s review resulted in the identification of 26 strategic policy actions aimed at enhancing the competitiveness of the UK’s financial services industry. Remarkably, over two-thirds of these have now been implemented. The report includes perspectives from the financial services industry on areas such as the regulatory regime, capital markets efficiencies, international alliances, and addressing skills shortages.
The 2023 report reflects on a year of noteworthy occurrences for the UK financial services, including the ongoing Covid pandemic, the lockdown restrictions, and fiscal and monetary policies introduced to battle the pandemic. Global events such as Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the resulting energy price shock have also had significant implications on the sector.
The City of London Corporation is also launching a new initiative, “Finance for Growth: a Roadmap”, to ensure the UK maintains its global leadership in financial services. The roadmap is driven by a steering board of influential industry figures and aims to renew and strengthen the UK’s global financial centre role. It will focus on tech and innovation, sustainable finance, competitive marketplace, and international promotion, ensuring that the UK Financial and Professional Services (FPS) sector remains internationally competitive and continues to contribute to the UK economy and global growth.
Wayne Johnson, CEO and co-founder of Encompass Corporation, expressed his views on the report. He said, “With this latest review of the UK’s financial services industry highlighting progress made – and areas for development – when it comes to promoting competitiveness and driving growth, particularly, it is important to recognise the focus on utilising best-in-class technology to bolster that growth.
“With ongoing efforts aimed at boosting the UK’s standing as a global financial centre, it imperative that we continue to support innovation, which ultimately impacts economic stability, for the benefit of businesses and the country as a whole. The UK is currently Europe’s leading FinTech hub and, to retain this position, we must continuously foster an environment that allows game-changing technology-driven solutions and processes, such as Know Your Customer (KYC) process automation, to be developed and implemented.”
Johnson highlighted the importance of continuous support for innovation, which impacts economic stability and benefits businesses and the country. “As the UK targets growth, technology will continue to play a vital role and it is important that all parties – including businesses, the Government and the regulator – work together to meet ongoing aims. This collaboration will be key to unlocking full potential, and the UK being seen as a prime location to do business with and within,” Johnson concluded.
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