City group: London is EU’s financial centre

 
Lauren Fedor
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LINKS between financial markets in the UK and the European Union are “fundamental” to the region’s economic prosperity, according to a new report out today.

In TheCityUK’s new report on the EU, the industry group argues that financial and professional services support jobs and growth across the EU, bolster business investment and finance government initiatives.

“London is Europe’s financial centre and offers a hub and entry point for companies based outside of Europe wanting to access the single market,” said TheCityUK’s chief executive Chris Cummings, adding: “Evidence we have gathered from the industry shows that they think continued membership of the EU is important for UK competitiveness, but a lot needs to change.”

The report found that the EU is the world’s leading bloc for exporting financial services, with extra-EU exports totalling €78bn (£57bn) and accounting for one-quarter of global financial services exports.

TheCityUK also said that financial and professional services companies employ 11m people across the EU, and the total value of finance provided to EU companies was almost €16 trillion last year.

But while the industry group said it recognised the value of Britain’s membership in the EU, saying being a member state was “important for UK competitiveness”, it said in the report that its members “want practical reform that will not only bring benefit to the industry in the UK, but to the whole of the EU”.

Cummings said such reforms would enable the City to “be more competitive in the global marketplace and better provide the investment for jobs and growth that Europe needs”.