New Darling group to ensure London keeps its edge


New Darling group to ensure London keeps its edge
A new government industry group chaired by Alistair Darling is being set up to make sure London's crown as a world-leading financial centre does not slip.

The chancellor will co-chair the Financial Services Global Competitiveness group with Citi chairman Sir Win Bischoff.

Its aim will be to ensure the capital maintains its place as a leading destination for financial services in the face of new global trends and challenges.

The new forum will report directly to the High Level group set up by then chancellor Gordon Brown in the 2006 Budget.

Meeting monthly it will analyse trends affecting the international financial services industry such as the continued impact of the sub-prime crisis and the rapid growth of financial centres in emerging markets.

The City's financial services sector currently provides more than a million UK jobs and accounts for ten per cent of GDP.

Mr Darling said the new group would play a crucial role in shaping government policy.

"It is vital it can respond to the rapidly changing nature of international financial markets, with major shifts in financial flows and players to growing centres of influence and new sources of profit," the chancellor explained.

"I have asked Sir Win to lead an assessment of these global trends and on their impact on financial centres over a ten-15 year horizon, to help London and the UK maintain and enhance its leading place in the world's financial markets."

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