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The City confident for 2014

11/12/13

The City of London is finally emerging from an extended period of gloom and is likely to enjoy an impressive performance over the course of 2014 if the economy develops as planned, according to a new report.

Research from TheCityUK seen exclusively by City AM found that London is becoming more competitive as a financial centre, with optimism for the coming 12 months looking strong.

TheCityUK is an advocacy organisation which hopes to influence government and European policy by highlighting the important role the financial services industry has to play in Britain's overall economic health.

Chris Cummings, chief executive officer of the group, said: "The optimism is what now stands out. Quiet, cautious, but growing confidence. Looking to the year ahead we see more good than bad news and that's due to feed through in employment and initial public offerings."

Members of the organisation are planning to bring in more staff over the coming year, while they also hope to drive up investment in the sector.

However, challenges still exist, not least the ongoing debate over the euro area and the uncertainty over the UK's future as a member of the EU.

"The City is a European asset as much as a UK asset. Stability in the Eurozone is still important and growth should now be on the agenda," declared Mr Cummings.

Some 11 indicators of confidence improved over the course of Q3, with only seven declining, highlighting the possibility of overall growth across the sector. Mergers and acquisitions in western Europe enjoyed their highest quarterly total since 2008 - although emerging markets remain important, it's clear that developed economies are performing better as well.

Mr Cummings has previously expressed his concern about the impact Scottish independence would have on the UK's financial services sector, indicating the problems that could arise if two separate regulatory bodies emerge following the country's devolution.

Edinburgh is the second-largest financial centre in the country, he pointed out.

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