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Chancellor Zahawi on US trip to bang the drum for London finance

Chancellor Nadhim Zahawi will embark on a US trip this week in an attempt to bang the drum for Britain’s post-Brexit financial future.

Zahawi will visit the New York Stock Exchange and meet with senior global bank representatives with “the aim of setting the highest possible standard for global financial services co-operation between the two nations.”

He will also talk up potential reforms in the UK’s Financial Services and Markets Bill – reforms that some in the City say do not go far enough – as part of his US trip.

The Chair of the London Stock Exchange has warned that the capital is “in a foot race with our competitors and we cannot afford to be ignorant of that or complacent about what we need to do if we want to stay relevant,” according to a submission to the Financial Conduct Authority seen by the Telegraph. 

Michael Findlay was writing to the watchdog as part of a primary markets review which aims to set the framework for the UK’s capital-raising markets.

Findlay said that the UK has a “once in a generation opportunity to implement radical reforms” as a result of the country’s departure from the EU, but that failing to do so would leave London with a “material risk of diminishing to that of a regional exchange.”

There are already concerns that the UK has ceased to be a positive market for capital listings, with a number of recent floats failing to deliver. UK equities are also relatively underpriced compared to global competitors, leading to a recent feeding frenzy of foreign firms looking to take UK-listed outfits private.

Nadhim Zahawi will also visit Washington DC where he will meet with officials from the Fed and the US Treasury.

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