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Government pushing growth in financial services


UK chancellor George Osborne has launched a new organisation with the aim of helping the financial services sector in the country expand and form international relationships, following on from a difficult few years for the industry.

The members of the new Financial Services, Trade and Investment Board (FSTIB) will be charged with leading the government's various initiatives for promoting external trade, driving internal investment and removing any barriers facing the sector.

Charles Roxburgh, director-general of financial services at the Treasury, will put his expertise to good use as the chairman of the new organisation.

He is to be joined by a host of luminaries from across the financial services sector, including Martin Gilbert of Aberdeen Asset Management and Ana Botin of Santander UK.

All of those involved in the FSTIB are industry leaders with extensive experience across a range of global firms, indicating the government's desire to get business experts involved in the push for economic growth.

"Ensuring the UK is able to compete in the global race is one of the government's key priorities," said Mr Osborne.

"That is why I have established the Financial Services Trade and Investment Board - to bring together the best that our public and private sectors have to offer to strengthen the UK's performance in financial services at home and abroad."

While the UK is still known as global hub for financial trading and commerce, with London often named alongside counterparts like Hong Kong and New York as one of the world's top business cities, the financial crisis had a major impact on the country's status.

Transactions have decreased and many firms have adopted a more cautious approach over the last few years.

This has wider ramifications for the British economy, hence Mr Osborne's attempts to stimulate growth - over the course of 2012 the financial services sector managed to contribute £109 billion to the economy and accounted for ten per cent of tax receipts.

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