Philip Hammond’s Mansion House Speech Highlights Future Plans
The Chancellor’s annual Mansion House speech on 21 June contained a number of interesting points about the British economy which are likely to impact upon trading or exchange rates. Some of these are discussed below.
Highlights of the Chancellor’s Mansion House speech:
London A Priority
A good portion of the Chancellor’s speech related to the economy and the finance sector. He stressed how important it is for London to remain the world’s top international financial centre, but acknowledged that Brexit challenges needed to be overcome. With regard to the UK economy, Mr Hammond was confident it is fundamentally sound. Unemployment is currently at a 40 year low and wages are starting to rise. British investment spending grew at the fastest rate of all G7 countries last year, while exports increased by more than 7%.
The government’s principal plan for the economy is to increase public investment by expanding the National Productivity Investment Fund to £31bn. It’s felt that the current industrial strategy will target sectors with high growth and help spread prosperity throughout the entire country.
Mr Hammond explained that maintaining London as a leading centre for financial services is critical for maintaining innovative strategies in the UK as a whole and that it’s important for UK and EU financial services to continue trading following Brexit.
He added that the technological revolution that’s in process at present may herald an era of prosperity for the UK but that regulators, industry and the UK government need to work together to ensure growth of the UK’s financial sector. The Open Banking Initiative and the Fintech Sector Strategy will completely change the way that consumers and businesses interact with banking and the finance sector. British Patient Capital is another new initiative which has £2.5bn of public investment and aims to unlock up to £20bn of financing for UK growth companies.
Green Finance is another area in which Britain leads and over 80 green bonds have been issued, raising over $24bn in total, over seven different currencies. Mr Hammond announced the creation of the Green Finance Institute which will be set up in London and funded by the UK government and the City of London to help countries around the globe access the science and capital needed to fund green ventures.
You can access the full text of the Chancellor’s speech on the government website.