City chiefs in U.S to boost banking links

As optimism continues to drop in the UK financial services sector, City of London Lord Mayor Peter Estlin and policy chair Catherine McGuinness fly to the US to meet with senior banking and finance executives.

A top-level delegation from the City of London arrived in New York on Monday in a bid to improve post-Brexit links between financial services in the two cities.Against the backdrop of a possible trade deal between the US and UK, the City delegation will travel to Washington later in the week to discuss greater regulatory compliance across the Atlantic.Led by City of London Lord Mayor Peter Estlin and Catherine McGuinness, the corporation's policy chair, the group will meet senior executives in New York from banks and financial service companies such as Blackrock, Citi Bank and JP Morgan.The two sides are expected to explore opportunities for greater collaboration in areas such as fintech, green finance and venture capital spending. The corporation said financial services in London wanted any future trade deal between the US and UK to prioritise deepening transatlantic regulatory and supervisory relationships.

Strengthening ties between the UK and US

After the New York meeting, Ms McGuinness will travel to Washington for meetings with the US Treasury, Federal Reserve and the Office of the US Trade Representative. "The UK and US have many common interests in the regulation of the financial services sector in years to come," she said."I want to see us build on the regulatory highway between our two countries, based on continued faith in open and free global financial markets."As we consider the shape of the UK's future trading relationship with the USA, we should keep all options on the table to ensure that business has the best opportunity to do what it does best - creating jobs and prosperity on both sides of the Atlantic."
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The US trip comes a month after Mr Estlin - the UK's global ambassador for the nation’s financial and professional services industry – headed a business delegation designed to strengthen links with Australia.In talks in Perth, Melbourne, Canberra and Sydney, the delegation discussed fintech, asset management and green finance with business and government leaders. In 2018, the UK was Australia’s second-largest source of foreign investment and second-largest foreign investment destination.

No faith in financial services

Last week, a survey by the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) and PwC found that, because of Brexit, optimism in the UK's financial services sector had fallen in Q3 at its fastest pace since the financial crisis.Rain Newton-Smith, CBI chief economist, said: “Quarter after quarter after quarter, optimism continues to drop in the financial services sector. Add to that the dive in volumes and profits over the last three months, and it’s clear something has to change.“The sector is the jewel in the crown of the UK’s world-leading services industry. While it’s encouraging that investment plans have improved, the threat of a ‘no deal’ Brexit is hitting confidence.“The government cannot ignore the voice of this bellwether of the domestic economy and one of the UK’s most important globally competitive sectors. No ifs, no buts, the government must heed the call to avoid a ‘no deal’ Brexit, and secure an ambitious deal with our largest trading partner.”

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