Today (31 March 2014) the Financial Services Trade and Investment Board (FSTIB) has published its first annual progress report announcing the 9 priorities it has identified to support trade and attract investment in the UK’s world class financial services sector. The board has pursed these priorities vigorously over the past year achieving substantial successes; today it reports on the progresses made and outlines its plans to go further and deliver more through existing and new initiatives.
Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rt Hon George Osborne MP, said:
I am delighted with the progress the Financial Services Trade and Investment Board has made in its first year. The board is playing a crucial part in the government’s long term economic plan to boost UK exports, attract inward investment, and secure long term growth. That is how we will win the global race.
Today’s report showcases what has been achieved so far, from renminbi to sukuk to the opening up of emerging markets. But as we all know, the job is far from done and I welcome the board’s ambitious targets. We want the message to go out loud and clear. Britain is open for business.
Financial Secretary to the Treasury, Sajid Javid, said:
The achievements of the Financial Services Trade and Investment Board are a real testimony to what government and industry can deliver together.
Financial services have a crucial role to play in boosting UK exports and helping hardworking people in businesses across the country take advantage of opportunities all over the world.
The financial services sector plays a vital role in the growth and prosperity of the wider UK economy; it accounts for 8% of UK GDP, 12% of tax revenue, half of our trade surplus in services and employs over 1 million people - two thirds of whom are outside of London.
That is why the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rt Hon George Osborne MP, created the FSTIB at Budget 2013 to attract inward investment, promoting external trade and removing barriers for the sector.
The board, which is made up of representatives from government and the financial services industry, is working to make sure that UK firms exporting abroad and firms based in the UK, including those in the financial services sector, are well placed to take advantage of new international business opportunities.
Significant progress has been made over the past year across of six of the initiatives that are in flight, highlights include:
- developing London as the global hub for offshore renminbi - London was awarded an RMB 80 billion quota allowing UK investors to invest offshore RMB into the securities market in Mainland China, followed by Ashmore Group, the British asset manager, receiving a London RQFII license and quota
- making the UK one of the world’s most competitive places for the Investment Management industry - the Financial Conduct Authority’s fund authorisation times have been reduced by around 50% following the launch of the UK Investment Management strategy in 2013; changes to the tax environment of the Investment Management industry means that the UK is now globally competitive for both Asset management and funds domicile; and a new website, created by industry and government, has been set up to assist overseas investment management companies looking to do business in the UK
- developing the UK as a global centre for Islamic finance - the Government will issue £200 million of sovereign sukuk in the forthcoming financial year, demonstrating the continued success of the UK as an all-purpose international financial centre
- liberalising trade and enhance investment through the UK and EU’s trade policy - negotiations for the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership was launched under the UK’s G8 Presidency, the UK is working closely with the European Commission and others to support the EU’s goal to agree an ambitious framework for regulatory co-operation with the US
- growing the market share of UK insurers overseas and attract inward investment – the Insurance Growth Action Plan was published, and Brit, the international insurance group, has announced, as part of their IPO on the London Stock Exchange, that they are moving the Group’s headquarters to London; and,
- supporting the development of deep and well regulated emerging capital markets - the development of work to increase capital market openness in key emerging markets, reducing barriers to trade and creating new opportunities for the UK financial services sector. Over the next year, the Board aims to deliver further successes in these areas. In addition, it will pursue three new opportunities:
- identifying and pursuing high value trade and investment opportunities in the UK Financial Technology sector (FinTech)
- developing the UK’s capacity to provide back and middle office functions for international financial services firms; and
- promoting the UK as a prime destination for international firms to raise finance
Minister for Trade and Investment, Lord Livingston, said:
The Financial Services Trade and Investment Board is an excellent example of government and industry working together to capitalise on international opportunities.
UKTI, through its Financial Services Organisation, is pursuing high value foreign investment projects and helping UK companies succeed globally in this key sector.
TheCityUK Chief Executive, Chris Cummings, said:
The Chancellor launched the Financial Services Trade and Investment Board (FSTIB) a year ago with the full support of TheCityUK as the private sector partner. Progress on the projects has proved the value in this collaborative approach, bringing together the best of the private sector with public sector support.
Our new website launched today acts as an information point for potential investors and is a great showcase for the work. FSTIB has become a key driver in increasing the global competitiveness of the UK and in identifying and securing business opportunities. This has a direct impact on job creation and economic growth. TheCityUK looks forward to continuing a successful partnership that benefits firms and the nation.
London Stock Exchange Group Chief Executive, Xavier Rolet, said:
The continued growth of the UK economy depends on industry and government working together, supporting UK firms to identify trade and investment priorities. We have been firm supporters of the Financial Services Trade and Investment Board since its inception last year and today’s report demonstrates that this important initiative is already paying dividends. I am confident that the FSTIB will continue to encourage more financial services businesses to work in partnership with the government.