Тhe City Of London and Its Role As a Financial Center
Introduction. The Concept of the City of London.
Britain is a major financial centre providing a wide range of specialised services. The country’s economy has for a long time been directed through the great financial institutions which together are known as “The City”, capital “C”, and which are mainly located in the famous “Square Mile” of the City of London.
The “Square Mile” in the Roman Times historically emerged on the Thames as the business and industrial nucleus of the future London. Through centuries of business and religious developments the City assumed its role of the world commercial centre as it is known today . When in the 20th century Great Britain lost its empire and other financial centres got established in the world, the city adapted itself to changed circumstances to remain a world financial leader. The City of London has the greatest concentration of banks in the world (responsible for about a quarter of total international bank lending) , the world’ s biggest insurance market (with about 1/5 of the international market ), a Stock Exchange with a larger listing of securities than any other exchange, and it remains the principal international centre for transactions in a large number of commodities. A large proportion of Britain’s wealth has been invested by the City overseas. The City’s annual foreign income roughly double that of the British manufacturing industries. The above proves the City’s world significance as a financial centre. Geographically the City is a large office area bubbling with life at daytime and comfortably quiet outside the office hours. It’s historical sights like the Tower of London, St Paul’s Cathedral, the Museum of London, the Monument and others as well as the beautifully impressive architecture of the office buildings attract crowds of visitors. The only housing project, the Barbican, provides very expensive accommodation along with an arts centre, a school and some official premises.
Since after the mid - 80s financial and related services have started to expand outside the “Square Mile” though the City of London remains the symbol and actual reality of the country’s power.
C h a p t e r 2
Britain’s Economic and Financial Position Today at Home and Abroad.
Finance and industry of the British economy go hand in hand as industry requires a diversified network of financial institutions to develop successfully. Although Britain’s financial power today exceeds that of the country’s industrial achievement, the country was for years “the workshop of the world”. It still remains a highly industrialised country but the end of the 20th century saw tendencies for the economic decline.