IN THE City of London,we have always described the capital as a world city. It has never seemed so apt: 2012 brings with it many causes to celebrate and, with just over 100 days to go until the start of the Olympic Games, the capital will soon be awash with talented international athletes.
It’s not only during the Olympics that we see world-class talent in and around the City. Each day, thousands of the world’s most talented individuals traverse London, and set to work with the rest of the world.
Historically, the City has been home to thousands of foreign-owned institutions, and it remains so today; international businesses come because we offer the stability, clarity and predictability they need.
The City remains the world’s leading financial centre, and this year fDi Intelligence have hailed us the “European City of the Future”. This is not our only achievement. We have again topped the rankings for Y/Zen’s GFCI survey, beating last year’s score by seven points.
We receive these awards not solely due to the size of our markets, or the range of our services, but because they are useful. The services provided by the City are at their best when put at the service of wider national and international economies. Partnership is the key to a successful economy, and not just in Britain.
A successful economy, which provides prospects and stability for all, is built upon strong financial markets and a strong City. Bolstering the drive for such a successful economy are the City’s wholesale financial markets.
These markets form an integral bridge between investors and issuers. They provide high quality, high-value financial services to both business and government, aiding campaigns that wish to invest and expand to raise finance and stimulating growth and job creation. Last year, 340 new companies raised $38bn in equity in European markets alone.
Wholesale financial markets manage the risks associated with doing business in different currencies; they’re where pension funds invest – creating returns, which provide incomes and peace of mind for pensioners and savers across the world.
The depth of our wholesale markets is attractive to the services that make the City the leading global financial centre, creating jobs right across the UK and throughout Europe in support services.
The City, and the expertise and enterprise we offer, will be crucial in meeting our overriding goal: the creation of jobs and growth. The creation of stable employment is needed in the UK, and the City contributes to the creation of such positions. What is good for the City is good for the UK, and what is good for the UK is good for the City.
We are in challenging times, but the City is resilient, and we welcome a challenge. There are still problems to face, like those in the Eurozone – still the UK’s largest export market – but the City will stay at the heart of the British and European economies, creating jobs, creating growth and creating prosperity.
David Wootton is Lord Mayor of the City of London.