…you spoke, Lord Mayor, of the hope of co-operation in the future of the extraordinary community that is the City of London. The years from the re-opening of the Euromarkets in the early 60s, led by the late and great Sir Sigmund Warburg, to 2008 were as much a golden age of the City as anything in its past, but should be outshone by its future. To this day, the largest proportion of legal work, accounting, banking, international finance, insurance, and much of commodity trading, shipping, happens in the City.
That is a good thing. Let me also say that I am not throwing stones at the City, when all is going well, markets are rising, profits look good, it is virtually impossible to stand against the tide: I wonder if I would have done, and few managed it.
The danger is the same as every good trader recognises, that of looking back to where the market was, not looking forward to where it should be. The City of the future should be highly profitable, but from serving the communities of the UK and overseas. It should grow a culture that takes the best of the past, the intelligence, the drive, the innovation and entrepreneurial skills, and puts those talents to the benefit of the common good. The challenge that we all face is the creation of an architecture for a 21st century financial services industry and banking sector, one which is ethical and profitable, innovative and safe.