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Is London losing its position?

London is the biggest international financial market in the world according to established government figures. Financial markets make up approximately 28% of UK GDP and are a fundamental component of the European "Action Plan". Any dilution of "the City" as the dominant international centre will not only be bad for the UK government but equally bad for the European Union.

Any migration of the global banks to other parts of the world will be disastrous to the European Union including the competitiveness of the banks concerned.  It is through competition that business flourishes and customers get better deals and services and should we find a flight by the major banks to other locations around the world, the global finance industry will suffer and may even stagnate. Even a mild migration will bring about a deteriation from its present capability of recovering from the economic and self made ills, it is facing.

There is a tangible value in keeping all your eggs in the same basket and with London's regulatory structure which is more likely to be beneficial, as governments and regulators begin to rebuild and put in safeguards, to prevent a reoccurrence of the current troubles.

We have witnessed how difficult it is in the EU to implement directives. Both MiFID and SEPA have been more painful to implement and action than they should have been. Closer regulatory checks and management, under increased powers can be more effective from a central source and London still remains the obvious and best location.

London could be losing its hold on international finances and any new taxation levied by the government will escalate the probability of corporate migration. I firmly believe that this would be very detrimental to the EU.

Even on a wider global scale a migration of the banking industry to different parts of the world would be weakening the controls now desperately needed after the problems of recent times. Fragmentation could lead to many more cracks in the regulatory system and more crevices where undetected criminal activity could occur.

There is much the UK Government should be doing to protect London, with tax rises and other fiscal policies to be avoided at all costs. As the industry begins to recover the path needs to be cleared of protectionism to allow all countries and their markets to create the most resilient structures and regulations to ensure as a free market and that the investor is always protected and I firmly believe that London is still the best place for international business and the most likely to produce solutions to the existing problems.      


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Gary Wright

Gary Wright


BISS Research

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19 Sep 2007



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