Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

The City Hits Back over Claim of Its Demise

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

The City Hits Back over Claim of Its Demise

Article excerpt


MARK Twain famously said: "Rumours of my death have been greatly exaggerated."

Reading Nicholas Faith (Evening Standard, 14 July), the same could be said of the City of London.

With 80% of the UK's international financial and business services located within its historic boundaries, the Square Mile is the greatest wealth generator for our capital and country.

The City fringes are also growing in importance, with a further 10% of wealth generated there and another 5% from Canary Wharf. Providing the right accommodation in the right location for global business is at the core of making London a successful competitor to New York. The latest estimate of "City-type" employment in London - international lending, investment banking, securities and foreign exchange trading, fund management and corporate finance, as well as insurance and relevant professional services - is 305,000. Of that, 190,000 are in the City, 60,000 in the City fringe, 30,000 in Canary Wharf and 25,000 in the rest of London.

This shows how essential it is to continue to preserve and sustain the centre of London. This is the great wealth-producing cluster of financial services in the capital that contributed more than [pounds sterling]22 billion to the UK economy last year.

London's transport is an issue that could threaten its dominance as Europe's financial hub. The capital urgently needs the East-West Crossrail.

Consultations on routes and funding must be as short as possible and the project must start soon. The route must include Heathrow, the City, Stratford and the Isle of Dogs for the full scheme to work. We will also need to make sure that, in order to fund it, no undue burdens are placed on City businesses.

The global economic downturn is also affecting the mood in the City. …

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