Monday 12 August 2019 4:02 am

One message resonates across the globe: London is still one-of-a-kind for finance

As people across the City head off on their travels over the summer holidays, there is no better time to reflect on the exciting opportunities for the UK across the globe as our future trading relationship comes into sharp focus. 

I have already been fortunate enough in my role as the 691st lord mayor of London to champion the UK’s financial services sector in more than 15 countries. 

Across these diverse markets, it’s been clear that the fundamental strengths of London continue to resonate. From Toronto to Tallinn, Sao Paulo to Singapore, the same themes come up again and again whenever I speak to politicians, regulators, and businesses all over the world.

They see London as the city that offers the world a unique combination of time zone, language, legal system, global talent, and financial services ecosystem which makes us truly a gateway to global capital and advice. Indeed, 40 per cent of the City’s workforce were born outside of the UK, and it is essential that we maintain that pipeline to global talent in the years ahead.


They also see us as a hub for innovation and at the centre of the drive towards greening the global financial system – and they’re right. 

We’re home to more than a tenth of the world’s fintech industry, with more venture capital investment into the sector than anywhere else in Europe. 

There are around 1,000 new startups each year in the City, and we could soon overtake even San Francisco as the home to most fintech “unicorn” companies, with the likes of Revolut, TransferWise, and OakNorth leading the way. 

Meanwhile, the recently launched Green Finance Institute is already providing leadership in this nascent sector. I have seen for myself how partners from around the world are eager to work with London to progress in the green finance space, whether that be in order to build sustainable energy infrastructure in Colombia or to work with China on building green principles for the Belt and Road Initiative.

After the summer break, I will be visiting Australia, India and South Africa among other countries – three very different markets that can all benefit from partnership with the UK. 

In Australia, I’ll be joined by a delegation consisting of some of our City’s best fintech startups, while asset management will also likely be high up the agenda. 

My visit to India comes soon after the former Prime Minister Theresa May attended the successful India Day event we hosted with the Department for International Trade at Mansion House. 


And in South Africa, I’ll be looking to focus on how the City of London’s expertise can accelerate efforts towards sustainable development, bringing millions of people out of poverty. 

Brexit uncertainty for businesses and consumers is something we could do without. Nonetheless, London remains unique in the world of finance, and this city is proving all over again that it possesses the pragmatism and entrepreneurial spirit to thrive in the long term. 

That’s not just my view, but also that of our partners looking on around the globe.

Main image credit: Getty

City A.M.'s opinion pages are a place for thought-provoking views and debate. These views are not necessarily shared by City A.M.

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