City gets new Treasury body to back trade

Marion Dakers
A NEW lobbying and trade group for financial services firms was unveiled in yesterday’s Budget, as part of an attempt to boost the UK’s standing in industries picked out by the government as “key sectors”.

The Financial Services Trade and Investment Board, to be chaired by a senior Treasury official, will “identify trade and investment priorities and support UK based firms in pursuing these vigorously across the globe”, according to Budget documents.

Chancellor George Osborne also used the Budget to give an update on the coalition’s industrial strategy, which in September identified 11 industries that it would support including life sciences, construction, nuclear and professional business services.

Osborne repeated a pledge to put £1bn into a new Aerospace Technology Institute, and pour £8m more a year into the Skills Investment Fund.

He said that more detailed plans for a total of £1.6bn set aside for the industrial strategy will be laid out later in the year.

TheCityUK and the City of London Corporation cheered the new group and pledged to work with it to scout trade opportunities.