Finance sector promised access to overseas talent

The success of the UK's financial services depends on the nation's continued ability to "attract and retain the best talent and skills" from around the world, a government minister has stressed.

Finance sector promised access to overseas talent
Addressing a 'Financial Services Beyond Brexit' conference in London, Economic Secretary to the Treasury and City Minister John Glen admitted that senior figures in the sector had emphasised the importance to him of continued access to overseas talent "over and over again".

The importance of attracting and retaining international skills

Mr Glen said that he had met last week with Mark Hoban, who chairs the International Regulatory Strategy Group, which is sponsored by the City of London Corporation.The minister says the interim report from the group's Financial Skills Task Force brought the challenge of attracting and retaining skills into sharp relief."Financial services are more dependent on high skilled workers than the rest of the economy," says Mr Glen. "That’s why our future immigration system is designed to support the UK’s competitiveness after we leave the EU.
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"We will cut down bureaucracy so it’s easier for businesses to hire the people they need, with no cap on skilled migration."And we’ve already introduced a new start-up visa, to make the process faster and smoother for entrepreneurs coming to the UK."Businesses, investors and workers from Europe, and around the world, should know their contribution to our financial sector is valued and that they are absolutely part of this country’s future."

Brexit Withdrawal Agreement

On Brexit itself, Mr Glen says the country needed to get the government's Withdrawal Agreement agreed after December's general election "so we can focus on demonstrating the UK’s position as a global capital of finance".He adds, "This government absolutely believes in the City and its place in our post-Brexit future. The whole country benefits from the services you provide, and the jobs and opportunities you create."The success of the City, and the revenue you generate, is indivisible from our own ambitions as a government, be it investing in the NHS and police or developing the infrastructure to power regional growth."The minister says a Conservative government would "strain every sinew" to ensure the UK's financial services continued to flourish and said a comprehensive, post-Brexit relationship with the EU would help to achieve this.

UK: a global financial centre

Mr Glen says that both London and Brussels remain committed to concluding equivalence assessments by June 2020 and that the UK was ready to begin this process as soon as possible."But it would be wrong to think we need to choose between Europe and the world," he adds. "Our vision for the future must be big and brave enough to encompass both. A strong and enduring relationship with the continent of Europe and an ever-expanding array of partners around the globe."Let’s not forget – London has never just been a European financial centre. It has always been a global one."Mr Glen cites recent examples of global moves by the sector as the launch of the London-Shanghai Stock Connect; the creation of the Green Finance Institute; and the listing of the first sovereign green bond from South America in London.

For more on Brexit news and views, visit our dedicated Brexit section. 

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