Battle of Canary Wharf and City is unimportant

THIS newspaper can justifiably claim to have &ldquo;scooped&rdquo; the news of Nomura&rsquo;s plan to base its European HQ in the Square Mile &ndash; confirmed last week but trailed, I believe, in City A.M sometime before Christmas.<br /><br />Many commentators have characterised the news that Nomura will take up residence in Lower Thames Street as&nbsp;a &ldquo;victory&rdquo; for the Square Mile in its &ldquo;battle&rdquo; with Canary Wharf.<br /><br />London journalists, especially ones who move in the property world, are of course delighted by any hint of home rivalry between the 2,000-year-old Square Mile and the 1980s newcomer Canary Wharf. Especially since they seem at first glance so different.<br /><br />And I am not denying that those who market properties in either of these locations quite properly seek to educate their clients about the advantages of their produce. In fact this friendly rivalry serves the customers very well as it keeps the developers very responsive.&nbsp;Undoubtedly, the main challenge for the City Corporation is to continue to ensure the supply of a broad range of accommodation required by those businesses that would like to locate and remain in the City<br /><br />But the real story &ndash; at a time when the French President was also announcing&nbsp; plans for Paris to enhance its standing as a location for European business &ndash; is that London (including Canary Wharf, the Square Mile and the West End) is still the place for global financial players.<br /><br />I don&rsquo;t need to rehearse with City A.M readers the facts that the Square Mile has 80m square feet of offices, and Canary wharf about 20m, or that while the E14 financial centre has 90,000 workers, more than 300,000 work in EC2, 3 and 4. Both are key elements in what London offers and while both centres compete, they are also both complementary. <br /><br />Transport links, office environment, proximity to other firms &ndash; all these are part of the mix. And the preferred location for one firm or another will depend on their current needs and future plans. Remember, too, that the new Crossrail link will bring all of London&rsquo;s business centres much closer together.<br /><br />Last week I was leading a City business delegation to South Korea, Malaysia and Vietnam. Interest in global financial services reform was very strong and many people were closely informed about London and, for example the government&rsquo;s financial reform plans and the Bank of England&rsquo;s stance on quantitative easing. <br /><br />But one thing business people on that side of the world are definitely not interested in is any &ldquo;battle&rdquo; between parts of London just a few miles apart.<br />Ian Luder is Mayor of the City of London.