Britain set to launch new financial services lobby

Britain will launch City UK in coming weeks to streamline promotion of its financial services industry and improve ethics in the tarnished sector.

Britain set to launch new financial services lobby

Britain will launch City UK in coming weeks to streamline promotion of its financial services industry and improve ethics in the tarnished sector.

"It's getting a whole lot of practitioners together to promote good practices," said Nicholas Anstee, Lord Mayor of the City of London municipal council which administers Britain's main financial district.

The City has traditionally served as the financial sector's cheerleader abroad along with a range of other bodies.

Reputational damage from the financial crisis and rising competition and lower taxes in other countries has created pressure for a more focused approach.

The City of London will contribute around a million pounds annually to City UK which will be an independent body launched around June, Anstee told Reuters.

"It will bring together a whole series of bodies and help avoid overlaps," Anstee added.

London's "light touch" reputation as a financial centre was hit hard by the financial crisis which forced Britain to rescue several banks and shore up the wider banking system.

The Financial Services Authority arrested several traders and brokers last week on suspicion of participating in a major insider dealing ring.

"What we need is a proper assessment of ethics and corporate governance in the City. There is more to do," Anstee told a City and Financial conference.

British Bankers' Association Chief Executive, Angela Knight, said demonisation of the financial sector was putting off the right people needed to help improve ethics.

Banks are already applying revamped corporate governance codes that apply lessons from the financial crisis, she said.

"We are better and further on the way than is recognised but it will take many years to build that trust," Knight said.

She also worried that banks may find themselves at a disadvantage as Britain implements financial reforms put forward by the G20 group of countries while other jurisdictions lagged.

FSA managing director of wholesale markets, Sally Dewar, said some bank were still failing to make proper background checks on people they nominated as non-executive directors.

"We are trying to raise the game of the nominations committees," Dewar said.

Reuters

Güncelleme Tarihi: 31 Mart 2010, 10:54
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