London’s reputation as a global financial center has been marred by the Libor-rigging scandal, said Gerry Grimstone, chairman of Standard Life Plc (SL/), Scotland’s largest insurer.
He was speaking on Bloomberg TV’s “The Pulse” show with Maryam Nemazee in London.
On London’s reputation after the Libor scandal:
“I’ve been in the financial services for 30 years and I’ve never known a time like this. It’s been terrible. Some of the language people use has been terrible. I’m concerned that the public don’t really understand it. The public talks about hanging bankers. We shouldn’t use words like cesspit to describe the City of London.”
On the importance of London for the U.K. economy:
“Two million people work in the financial services industry. It represents 1/7 of the U.K. economy. Financial services are not an optional extra. It’s a very important industry; it’s one of our biggest taxpayers and export earners. The U.K. cannot do without our vibrant financial services industry.”
On restoring confidence in the City:
“These things start in the boardroom. The culture of a company starts has to be set from the top. Boards have to set the tone and be responsible for the ethics of the company. We all know what’s wrong or right. We have to stop people from wanting to do things that are wrong; you have to look at incentivization, start from the top and work right through the organizations.”
On the London’s position in Europe:
“It’s vitally important that the U.K stays fully engaged in Europe. The City is not only the U.K.’s financial center, it’s the EU’s financial center. We have to remind the government and Brussels about the importance of the City. Our financial services have to stay part of the single market. We have to have a place at the table.”
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