Financial sector's problems put front and centre by Brexit vote

Hayley Kirton
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"There is life beyond Brexit and we need to start building that now," Cummings told City A.M. (Source: Getty)

The UK's decision to split from the EU has brought problems lurking in the City to the foreground, research out today warns.

The report by TheCityUK highlighted five key areas – strengthening global connections, driving national growth, expanding service areas, increasing innovation and developing talent – where the financial and professional services sector now needs the ante upped as a matter of urgency.

"We're a structurally important industry for the UK and we want to see that continue," Chris Cummings, the outgoing chief executive of TheCityUK, told City A.M. "But to do that it's going to require a new level of partnership between the industry, government and regulators to maintain the UK's position as the leading global financial centre."

He added: "There is life beyond Brexit and we need to start building that now."

Read more: City job market all shook up since Brexit

The bulk of the report's research was carried out before 23 June but the industry group wrote its recommendations after the Leave decision was announced.

Cummings said: "There's been an awful lot written about what we need to make sure we get as a result of Brexit. This is about how we secure what we've got – of course it is – but how do we compete globally to maintain the level of welfare spending we've got in the UK to maintain our public services and make sure we continue to create jobs and growth."

In particular, the report argues the Brexit vote heightens the need to develop relations with what Cummings calls "old friends" such as the US and Japan.

"I think it's fair to say that Japan has dropped off the top of the list over recent years," Cummings added.

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Cummings also warned that London's ample pool of talent was "something we'd taken almost for granted", adding: "London seems to be a good place to do business and a great place to build your career, so having that openness to talent is hugely important, not only for people from EU member states but actually from other parts of the world as well."

Cummings is shortly due to leave TheCityUK to join The Investment Association. He told City A.M.: "The board has appointed a really good successor to me in Miles Celic and I'm sure Miles will do this job in a way that he thinks best and that's all I can ever ask."

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