News

Bank of England responds to current Chinese action on digital currency with discussion paper

On Monday 07 Jun 2021, the Bank of England published a discussion paper on new forms of digital money.  It also summarised responses to its 2020 Discussion Paper on a Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC).

.

Responding to this BoE paper the CityUnited Project’s Chairman, Professor Daniel Hodson, said:

“This BoE initiative raises many important issues, but it misses the key points underlined by the CityUnited Project’s Aurora initiative, launched on 13 May.

“China launched its CBDC in February. The UK is uniquely positioned to meet this challenge, increasing its geopolitical soft power, but only if it gives a sterling CBDC the highest priority and immediacy – not yet another Discussion Paper.

“China launches its CBDC in February 2022.  The UK is uniquely positioned to meet this challenge, increasing its geopolitical soft power, but only if it gives a sterling CBDC the highest priority and immediacy – not yet another Discussion Paper.

And, with 98% of daily payments being wholesale in nature, it is surprising that the BoE seems to be looking through the wrong end of the telescope by prioritising retail issues, particularly with a wholesale-based initiative there for the taking.”

.

The Bank of England’s approach

The Bank of England introduced its latest discussion paper by saying:-

“These new forms of digital money could be publically or privately provided. Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) is the term used to describe the digital form of central bank money. A ‘stablecoin’ describes digital tokens issued by the private sector which aim to maintain a stable value at all times, primarily in relation to existing national currencies. Their stability of value is what distinguishes them from other digital assets using new technologies.

“For the purposes of the Discussion Paper, the forms of digital money in the UK that are considered to be systemic are those that have the potential to scale up and become widely used as a trusted form of sterling-based retail payments. For all stablecoins deemed as systemic, the Bank’s expectation is for them to be stable in value at all times and offer 1-to-1 redemption with a robust legal claim.”

Governor of the Bank of England, Andrew Bailey, said:

“We live in an increasingly digitalised world where the way we make payments and use money is changing rapidly. The prospect of stablecoins as a means of payment and the emerging propositions of CBDC have generated a host of issues that central banks, governments, and society as a whole, need to carefully consider and address.

It is essential that we ask the difficult and pertinent questions when it comes to the future of these new forms of digital money.”

________________________________________________

The CityUnited Project’s Vice Chairman, Leigh Evans, commented on ‘the need for speed’

“Whilst any rollout of an ‘e-pound’ will need to be carefully considered as the Governor says, we are working in real-time here.  The simple facts are that China has already implemented trials of its digital currency and is well-advanced in its plans for the full roll-out ahead of the 2022 Winter Olympic Games.

“The biggest gains are to be made in the wholesale sector, representing over 98% of value.  Not only would this be easier and faster to achieve than in the more fragmented retail banking sector, but the potential immediate benefits dwarf the benefits of any retail-focused CBDC plan, significant though these will ultimately be.

“The UK is fortunate in possessing some of the greatest talents in the world in Fintech and the skills and the knowledge are there right now to develop a wholesale CBDC quickly and smoothly, ahead of any retail rollout.

“A suggestion would be to go for the (relatively) quick win and secure first-mover advantage amongst western economies.”

Read the Bank of England’s full discussion paper here.

__________________________________________________________________________

“Do we need ‘public money’?”

A speech by Jon Cunliffe of the BoE, given at the OMFIF Digital Money Institute, London, 13 May 2021.

The Bank of England has issued banknotes for over 300 years. Sir Jon Cunliffe talks about the future of money in the UK in an increasingly digital world. Very thoughtful speech.

Read it in full here.

__________________________________________________________________________

“It’s clear that for payments we need a better digital currency.”

An interesting assessment by Julian Jessop for the Telegraph on 22 May 2021 and a great boost for the wholesale-based Aurora Sterling Central Bank Digital Currency. Let’s get on with it.

Read more here

__________________________________________________________________________

Aurora – a new dawn for Sterling with benefits for all

The CityUnited Project has just published a report calling for an immediate development of an e-pound.

Today, 13 May 2021, the CityUnited formally launched its ‘Aurora Initiative’ – a plan detailing how a Central Bank Digital Currency platform could be put together in an expeditious and efficient way.

Named ‘Aurora’ (Latin for dawn), this initiative looks well-timed.  It offers the UK first mover advantage for a western alternative to the Chinese CBDC, exploiting the UK’s world-leading technology, financial leadership, and innovation, providing benefits for all. 

The proposal is effectively in two parts:-

  1. A CBDC for the wholesale sector, representing the bulk of UK banking transactions, involving the BoE and City institutions, followed by
  2. Further enhancements designed for the retail sector, improving cost and efficiency for items such as fares, fees and media purchases; and providing simple payment and receipt access for the many still without bank accounts.

.

For more details and our full report click here

__________________________________________________________________________

.

“Digital currency is the future. The quicker we develop an e-pound, the better”

There is a superb exposition by Lord (Dan) Hannan in today’s Sunday Telegraph on a Central Bank Digital Currency, and mentioning The CityUnited Project.

“We’ve paid a high price for regulatory autonomy. Why not use it for something that will benefit everyone?” asks Lord Hannan.

Click here to read the full article.


.

The CityUnited Project tops the news

The CityUnited Project made the lead story in the online version of the Daily Express on Friday (23 Apr 2021).

They covered the comments about our proposals for a Central Bank Digital Currency, made by one of our Advisory Board members, the Rt Hon Lord Lamont of Lerwick PC.

Read our article here, or you can view the following:-

EXPRESS ARTICLE:  https://www.express.co.uk/news/politics/1426859/rishi-sunak-lord-lamont-britcoin-bitcoin-digital-pound-cityunited-project

EXPRESS TWEET:  https://twitter.com/Daily_Express/status/1385458410473148420?s=20

OUR TWEET:  https://twitter.com/CityUnitedProj1/status/1385495293261721600?s=20

__________________________________________________________________________

“The Bluffer’s Guide to Central Bank Digital Currencies”

The UK’s proposed digital sterling system could establish an alternative Western digital currency template in a ‘One Globe, Two System’ world. It could be cast in an entirely different framework, accepting its inevitability, providing all the direct and a multitude of important related benefits but also with complete control and protection of the rights of and information about all participants, including, eventually, individuals.

It would provide the UK with first mover advantage – bearing in mind the EU’s recently announced plan to carry a digital Euro initiative forward – enabling it to take a global lead in ensuring that such digital currencies are rolled out in the most effective but safest way, recognising the risks associated with their unavoidable ultimate deployment.

It would also reconfirm the Bank of England’s position as a premier league central bank and sterling as a global currency.

Read our ‘Bluffer’s Guide to a Central Bank Digital Currency” here.

__________________________________________________________________________

“EU is on a suicide mission trying to force clearing from the City to the Eurozone”

A guest article by the Executive Editor of Reaction, Maggie Pagano.

We present an excellent piece of work which is well worth reading in full. There is also a shortened version if you have less time.

Read it here.

__________________________________________________________________________

The CityUnited Project comments on Facts4EU’s article about the proposed digital euro

Today (Saturday 17 April 2021) the CityUnited Project’s Chairman, Professor Daniel Hodson, gives his comments to the respected Facts4EU.Org organisation regarding their article revealing the EU’s plans for a digital currency.

Read what Daniel had to say to Facts4EU.Org here.

__________________________________________________________________________

The CityUnited Project’s Tom Bohills provides a robust response to an article in today’s CityAM

“However this movement has been overwhelmingly in the UK’s favour. Almost 1,500 EU-based financial services firms have applied for permission to operate in the UK.”

Read the full CityAM story here.

Although not used in the article, the CityUnited Project’s Chairman, Professor Daniel Hodson, added:

“Many firms opened limitedly capitalised subsidiaries in friendly jurisdictions of the EU as insurance policies. These were in addition to and not replacements of their UK business.  No meaningful business moved.  So if 440 of the 58,000 firms who are regulated by the FCA opened an additional presence versus the c.1500 from the EU who applied under the Temporary Permission Regime, it seems Pickfords’ removal wagons will be busier from the EU to UK rather than the reverse.

“I doubt any non-EU international business will shift from the oversight of the BOE, PRA and FCA to any other and give up the protection afforded by legal agreements under English Law for civil codes.”

__________________________________________________________________________

“Digital pound could revolutionise UK outside crumbling bloc”

The Express covers The CityUnited Project’s report to the Government’s Taskforce on Innovation, Growth, and Regulatory Reform (TIGGR)

On Tuesday 13 Apr 2021, the Express ran a story about The CityUnited Project’s submission to the Government Taskforce looking into policies for innovation and growth.

“Professor Daniel Hodson said it was vital to act now to enable the UK to compete with China as the 21st century develops. The think tank last week submitted proposals and recommendations to Taskforce on Innovation, Growth and Regulatory Reform (TIGGR) chaired by Iain Duncan Smith MP – with the key one being a commitment to launching a digital currency.”

Read the full article here

__________________________________________________________________________

Event: “The City in a post-Brexit world”

On Tuesday 13 April 2021, some 200 finance professionals gathered online for an event entitled “The City in a post-Brexit world”, hosted by the Devonshire House Network

Chaired by The Right Honourable The Lord Lamont of Lerwick PC, the speakers included:-

  • Professor Daniel Hodson, Founder and Chairman of The CityUnited Project
  • Dr Gerard Lyons, author, economist and forecaster, former economic advisor to Boris Johnson as Mayor of London
  • Andy Ross, CEO of CurveGlobal Limited, an interest rate derivatives venture launched in 2015 by the London Stock Exchange Group (LSEG)
  • Tom Bohills, Founder of Chronos Law, a boutique technology law firm located in London

The event turned out to be highly stimulating for all who attended and we are pleased to be able to bring you the video of the session, courtesy of The Devonshire House Network.

To watch the video and learn more about the event click here

__________________________________________________________________________

Press Release: The CityUnited Project’s recommendations to the Government’s Taskforce on Innovation, Growth and Regulatory Reform (TIGGR)

In February this year (2021) the Prime Minister invited the Rt Hon Sir Iain Duncan Smith MP to lead a Taskforce on Innovation, Growth and Regulatory Reform (TIGGR).

The CityUnited Project (CUP) was asked to submit proposals and recommendations to the Taskforce, which it did on 06 April.

Our summary article about this, together with a link to our full report, is available here.

__________________________________________________________________________

ONLINE EVENT:  “The City in a post-Brexit world”

Chaired by The Rt Hon Lord Lamont of Lerwick PC

Tuesday, 13 April, 5-6pm – free booking details are below

The CityUnited Project is pleased to invite you to an online event hosted by the Devonshire House Network and chaired by former Chancellor, The Rt Hon Lord Lamont of Lerwick PC, a member of our Advisory Board.

Here is how the event is described by the Devonshire House Network

“Get Brexit done!”  The Brexit Agreement – described by many as ‘thin’ – did this, but left it to others to work out exactly how. The EU then embarked on its smash and grab raid leaving the City wrong-footed.

Professor Daniel Hodson, a long-standing senior city figure and one of the very early start-up drivers behind Vote Leave, founded the CityUnited Project. Daniel has gathered an impressive array of City grandees who say that the Government must accept that the EU has in effect denied normal cooperation with the City and its associated financial services and action needs to be taken.

The City represents the leading exporter of services in the UK and one of the powerhouse engines relied on by the Eurozone itself as well as by the wider European Economy. The CityUnited Project is not a passive initiative; it is a strong one, an assertive one.

The Devonshire House Network are currently firming up the Agenda which will seek to cover the following in the time available:-

  • What are the short, medium and long term goals?
  • What lost ground can feasibly be recovered? Is it worth the effort – if so, exactly what sort of action will be taken?
  • What collaborations in this crucial work can be expected?
  • What should/will Government do to help?
  • What can anyone listening to this story do to help?

What many will admire is that, on the face of it, this adhoc group of strong-minded and high-profile individuals are picking up an unexpected loose ball and running with it, unfazed by its sheer scale and importance and the undoubted and massive potential of success.

To book your free place at this online event

To attend, please click here to book your free entry.

We look forward to seeing you there on Tuesday!

__________________________________________________________________________

The Reuters wire just covered The CityUnited Project’s TIGGR report

Reuters have written about our report to the Government’s Taskforce on Innovation, Growth and Regulatory Reform (TIGGR). They also wrote an article on this, here.

We will be providing much more information about this very soon.

__________________________________________________________________________

LIBOR is soon no more.  What’s in store?

A stimulating article for The CityUnited Project by CurveGlobal’s CEO at LSEG, Andy Ross. 

Andy gives his thoughts in our articles section here.

__________________________________________________________________________

A thought-provoking article in CityAM today, from our Chairman, Professor Daniel Hodson.

“Parallel markets: The City must push back against Europe’s protectionist financial walls”

“Governments, however enlightened and visionary, can so often make two fundamental errors of  judgement about global financial service markets: they grossly underestimate their multi trillion dollar power and manoeuvrability. They forget their close attention to competition, cost and risk, and the pursuit of liquidity.” Read more….

__________________________________________________________________________

The City is having its best quarter for IPOs since 2006 and it is now likely to be the best quarter on record, says Bloomberg

In addition to the massive IPO from Deliveroo, which chose London over all other locations, many other companies have been following the same route.

“London has been Europe’s busiest venue this year. Deals include British bootmaker Dr. Martens Plc, which soared in its debut last month, while virtual greeting-card and gifting firm Moonpig Group Plc floated in February. Foreign issuers are also lining up to list: Trustpilot, a Denmark-based online platform for consumer reviews, has laid out plans for a U.K. IPO, while Russia’s largest dollar-store chain Fix Price made its trading debut in the City on Friday after a $1.7 billion offering.”  Read more…

__________________________________________________________________________

UK is EU27’s No.1 market in the world for services

EU refuses to grant ‘equivalency’ to UK services, but expects UK to keep buying from EU

Facts4EU.Org updates us on the EU’s own figures showing the UK remains the No.1 market for the EU, for services. Read more here

__________________________________________________________________________

Major press coverage for The CityUnited Project in its first week

Since its launch a week ago on Monday 15 Feb 2021, The CityUnited Project has received a great deal of favourable press coverage, from national newspapers and from many news agencies.  Below is a selection of links to articles from just some of the organisations who have covered our launch.

Daily Express

“Brussels bullies sent fierce warning over plans to strongarm City – ‘That changes NOW!’”

https://www.express.co.uk/news/politics/1397943/brexit-news-city-of-london-eu-erg-eurozone-euro-brussels-boris-johnson-financial-services

“We’re in charge now! Brexiteers sends EU warning over battle for City of London services”

https://www.express.co.uk/finance/city/1398464/brexit-news-eu-city-of-london-financial-services-cityunited-erg

“What exodus? Brexit will help City ATTRACT new business – ‘Brimming with opportunities!’”

https://www.express.co.uk/finance/city/1400033/brexit-news-eu-city-of-london-lord-lamont-bernard-jenkin-erg-project-fear-finance-exodus

Daily Telegraph

“How Britain can fight back against the EU’s self-destructive war on the City”

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2021/02/20/britain-can-fight-back-against-eus-self-destructive-war-city/

Reuters

“Britain’s new CityUnited financial think tank attacks ‘protectionist’ EU”

https://www.reuters.com/article/uk-britain-eu-finance/britains-new-cityunited-financial-think-tank-attacks-protectionist-eu-idINKBN2AF1PB

CityAM

“Eurosceptic politicians form new post-Brexit City lobby group”

NASDAQ

“Britain’s new CityUnited financial think tank attacks “protectionist” EU”

https://www.nasdaq.com/articles/britains-new-cityunited-financial-think-tank-attacks-protectionist-eu-2021-02-15

Facts4EU.Org

“The City in a post-Brexit world – Is this its greatest opportunity in decades?”

https://facts4eu.org/news/2021_feb_city_post_brexit

“Protectionist EU set to be left behind by global Brexit Britain, says City group”

https://facts4eu.org/news/2021_feb_protectionist_eu

“Exactly who is benefiting from the UK-EU ‘trade deal’, and why weren’t services included?”

https://facts4eu.org/news/2021_feb_eu_trillion_island

The CityUnited Project, together with its Political Advisory Board and its wide range of eminent contributors, is fully engaged in its vision of a global City and UK financial services industry, serving the world with the highest skills possible, and supported by a fair and competitive regulatory and taxation framework.

__________________________________________________________________________

“Tech sector recruiting in London now above pre-Covid levels, Hays boss reveals”

“Recruitment in London’s tech sector has risen above pre-pandemic levels and represents a key opportunity for the UK’s economic recovery, according to the boss of white-collar recruitment giant Hays.

“Alistair Cox, who has headed up the FTSE 250 firm since 2007, said: “Investments in areas such as technology, life sciences and the green economy represent an amazing opportunity for us going forward as new skillsets are required. Our technology business in London is now operating above pre-Covid levels.”

It comes as sector leaders including Tech Nation chair Stephen Kelly say there are multiple signs 2021 will be “a golden year for UK tech”.

Read more in the London Evening Standard article here…

__________________________________________________________________________

“The City in a post-Brexit world – Is this its greatest opportunity in decades?”

‘The CityUnited Project’ campaign group and think-tank launches today

City professionals, senior politicians, and finance specialists have today responded to the recent challenges laid down by the EU in the new post-Brexit world. 

We are pleased to announce the launch of the CityUnited Project, a practitioner-led initiative setting out a vision of a world-leading and prosperous UK financial services industry, setting global regulatory standards in partnership with other major financial centres and in contrast to the increasingly protectionist EU financial services markets.

Supported by leading politicians, Sir Bernard Jenkin MP, David Jones MP, Lord (Norman) Lamont, Lord (Daniel) Hannan, and Anne-Marie Morris MP, it speaks positively and authoritatively for the industry’s future opportunities and rebuts the current round of negative and under-informed stories about EU share trading and loss of access (due to lack of “equivalence”) to EU markets.

The group will build on and promote the City’s outstanding track record of product development and innovation, particularly in Fintech. It also seeks to show how the industry can enhance employment in the City and in regions and financial centres such as Belfast and Edinburgh and throughout the Union. 

‘The CityUnited Project’ says that the Government must now accept that the EU has in effect denied normal cooperation with the City and its associated financial services, which represents one of the powerhouse engines relied on by the Eurozone itself, as well as by the wider European economy.

Together the new group is responding with initiatives, policies, and recommendations for the Government.  Part of its aim is to combat and negate the EU’s actions.  It will also be promoting bold new initiatives to exploit the UK’s expertise in financial services and to re-set the agenda for global financial services.

“A global City and UK financial services industry, serving the world”

The CityUnited Project’s Chairman, Professor Daniel Hodson, commented: 

“Our vision is a global City and UK financial services industry, serving the world and supported by a fair and competitive regulatory and taxation framework and the highest skills possible.

“New opportunities are opening up to secure the City’s global leadership in regulation and product development.  The role of financial services in generating employment in the City and regionally (including in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland) is more important than ever and can strengthen the Union.

“We see a massive chance to strengthen and enhance the UK’s existing position in global regulatory leadership, working in partnership with other major financial centres across the world, in contrast to the increasingly protectionist financial markets of the EU.”

__________________________________________________________________________

EU gets (politely) savaged by the Governor of the Bank of England

Governor implicitly accuses EU of being inconsistent, illogical, dictatorial, and hypocritical

Andrew Bailey fires warning shot ahead of further EU intransigence regarding financial services. Read more…

__________________________________________________________________________

No, Amsterdam hasn’t overtaken the City

By Gerard Lyons – published in The Spectator

London is Europe’s major financial centre and one of the world’s two leading financial hubs. This is unlikely to change following Brexit. Its main competition is with New York, Singapore, Hong Kong and other centres like Shanghai that will emerge in the coming years. Read more…


What exodus? EU’s dreams of financial power-grab shattered as UK secures big City victory

PROJECT Fear-driven concerns about a post-Brexit exodus from the City of London have proved entirely unfounded, with at least 1,500 firms already having signalled their intention to continue accessing UK markets in accordance with special provisions introduced two years ago, a top financier and prominent Brexiteer has said.

UPDATED: 17:41, Tue, Dec 8, 2020 Daniel Hodson, the former Director of the London Clearing House, said the figure was many times larger than the number of companies who have applied for licences to operate in France, underlining the City’s role as a “pan-European asset” which dwarfed every other financial centre in the European Union. Read more……