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Economic news – Embassy 50

Lord Mayor fears UK EU Exit

The City “will mount an evidence-based campaign” showing the benefits of the UK’s membership of the EU, should an in-out referendum take place following general elections next year, the Lord Mayor of London told economic attachés at a recent meeting in Mansion House.

Outlining the priorities for her term, Alderman Fiona Woolf said the City would focus its energy on finalising arrangements for the EU Banking Union, in particular the Single Resolution Mechanism to bail out failing banks in the EU. “Settling the banking union would be good for the European banking industry,” she said.

Finalising the “long-running” Markets in Financial Services Directive (MIFID) to liberalise financial services across the EU would benefit the City, which is the world’s biggest exporter of financial services.

“We have a keen interest in third country providers being able to offer services throughout Europe without having to get a license in each country,” she said.

But she warned that some of the EU’s proposed “one-size-fits-all” regulations would not suit the City’s “niche and specialist pools of liquidity”.

Beyond the EU, the Lord Mayor said the City aimed to become the Western hub, for both Islamic Finance and trading in the Chinese Renminbi (RMB). As the City’s Ambassador for financial services, she will also be visiting 25 countries, many of which are emerging markets.

As only the second female Lord Mayor in the City’s 800-year history, her term will also encourage diversity in the City. “In the FTSE 250, only 6 per cent of executive positions are held by women, which is not a good statistic, and not one I can ignore.”

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Lord Mayor Fiona Woolf with AERL Chair Georg Karabaczek
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