Catherine McGuinness, Chairman of Policy and Resources at the City of London Corporation, discusses her upcoming trip to the United States, the impact of Brexit on the City of London and the future of the UK-US trading relationship …
I was elected as the City of London Corporation’s Chairman of Policy and Resources back in May. With Brexit on the horizon, my core goal is ensuring that the City remains and flourishes as the world’s premier international financial centre. Navigating these waters is not a solo mission. It will require strong cooperation with and support from our international partners.
Speaking of partnership, the fortunes of City of London and US businesses are deeply entwined. The US is the largest absolute investor in UK financial services. The UK houses around 500 US-owned financial services firms representing one third of all UK-based, overseas-owned financial services companies. This interaction generates growth and supports thousands of jobs on both sides of the Atlantic. In short, it is a relationship worth strengthening.
At the City of London Corporation, we work hard to maintain both these mutually beneficial relationships, and the trading environments required for a thriving international financial services sector. As such, we engage regularly with the main players on both here and in the US.
I will be travelling to New York and Washington in the first week of November where I will meet with business leaders, senior policymakers, legislators, regulators and wider stakeholders. I will be informing US-based stakeholders of developments in the UK and European political, economic and regulatory environment. I will also be outlining the City’s position on a range of policy issues which carry implications for the UK economy.
One such issue is the future of US regulatory environment. The City of London was active in shaping the post-crisis reforms in both the UK and US. Back in February, President Trump’s Executive Order 13772 called for a root and branch review of this regulatory system. The US Treasury has already published two comprehensive reports containing detailed recommendations. In conversations with regulators, I look forward to assessing the extent to which these recommendations will be enacted, and their potential impact on UK competitiveness. I will also be promoting the value of regulatory coherence in a globalised marketplace.
I will be discussing the future UK-US trading relationship more broadly. This subject has filled many column inches over the last year. I want to dig down into the realities. I will be exploring the potential ways forward and, perhaps more importantly, the immediate opportunities for boosting mutual market access in services outside a broad FTA framework.
Brexit will, of course, be front of mind. My role in the US will be two-fold. Firstly, I will be underlining that the City’s unique strengths will endure irrespective of Brexit: our regulatory framework, our legal expertise, our favourable time zone, and our deep history which saw the Bank of England established over 80 years before the Declaration of Independence.
Secondly, I will be outlining the City’s core asks for the Brexit negotiations: achieving a Brexit comprised of transitional arrangements, which does not threaten our trading relationships, and guarantees continued access to talent for our firms. With all of our international partners looking on intently, it is imperative that we make progress on these three fronts.
I look forward to continuing to work closely with BritishAmerican Business on the future of the UK-US trading relationship.