I have visited India at least once a year – every year! – for the last 20 years.And I am delighted I can continue my visits now, as the Lord Mayor – an international representative for UK financial and professional services which have had their historic roots at the heart of the City of London for over three hundred years.
And over those years, the City of London has become the capital of capital. It is home to institutions like the Bank of England,Lloyds of London and the London Stock Exchange.And for over a century, India has been an important partner and friend.
In fact, some of our most long-standing businesses in the City are Indian – with the State Bank of India having offices here since the turn of the century.Today,the London Stock Exchange is the leading centre for the issuance of ‘Masala bonds’ .And the City of London Corporation has had offices in Mumbai for over a decade.
This long-dated friendship has led to an incredible business partnership, one that continues to improve UK's exports to India increased at the fastest rate among our top trading partners outside the European Union, with an almost 20 per cent hike in goods and services trade in 2018.
And I believe that the most innovative and dynamic part of this trading relationship is in our financial and professional services Because much like Hyderabad the City of London though a historic place is a world recognized centre of innovation.Hyderabad has emerged as the innovative heart of one of the world’s most cutting-edge and revolutionary tech centres.
I would like to focus on two specific innovations and how the UK and India can build on.The first is Fintech.already a thriving sector in India, with Hyderabad already host over 3,000 in Fintechs.Companies like Paytm have more than 2m users.And according to Ernst & Young, India is a world leader in fintech adoption because of the support from both Government and regulators.But the UK can also support this thriving sector.
Our Fintech sector employs more than 75,000 people nationwide and it continues to attract record investment.We have the people, the talent and the capital to help create opportunities for Indian Fintechs to grow and test their Fintech products.We also have some of the friendliest regulation for FinTech’s globally.And since 2014, the Financial Conduct Authority has operated ‘Project Innovate’, with a regulation sandbox which has helped hundreds of firms from across the world get access to the market.
In fact, 90 per cent of the firms from their first round of applications have gone on to market, many of them finding it easier to get funding as a result of participating in the sandbox,a safe and secure place to test their products.
Which brings me on to my second area where the UK and India can work closer together:
Cybercrime is estimated to cost around $445 billion US dollars each year and financial institutions – which are becoming increasingly digitised -are particularly vulnerable.That’s why in the City of London we are working with the police the Government and the Private Sector
to increase cyber security.
City of London Police,the UK’s national policing lead for fraud and cybercrime reporting,recently launched a new training programme called Cyber Griffin to ensure that a company’s IT system is secure and the people who operate it are sufficiently skilled to spot signs of cyber-attacks.
The UK Government is investing nearly £2bn as part of the UK’s National Cyber Security Strategy to make the UK the safest place in the world to live and do business and we are partnering with them on the National Cyber Security Centre which creates a partnership between Government and industry
to increase the UK’s cyber security.
And the City of London being the world’s most international financial centre, the UK has developed the largest cyber market in Europe valued at £4 billion and employing more than 100,000 people across 8,000 companies.
At present, one-third of all cyber insurance passes through London.And we are working closely with industry to ensure they can take advantage
of this expertise. We work with a number of cyber accelerators to directly match “need” with “resource”.
Accelerators like CyLon, LORCA, and Tech Nation can go to innovative start-ups and task them with bringing fresh eyes and workable solutions to the challenges faced by industry.
The City of London has the infrastructure,the talent and the market lead on cyber security and I would encourage you to see how we can help you become more secure.there is much that unites the City of London and Hyderabad the UK and India.but perhaps what has brought us closer over the decades is not just our commitment to business but to always be improving and innovating our offer.
In the T-Hub the largest incubator for start-ups in India,I can feel that energy that is constantly searching and adapting to ensure that business meets the needs of the 21st Century.