Offshore and City of London facing similar communication issues
Friday, March 16, 2012
During meetings in London this week, I was struck by thoughts from two senior media and communications professionals who expressed concern about how the City, and the various sectors within financial services, defend themselves.
Both felt that the City and the various sectors that collectively make up the financial services industry were not effectively promoting the value they bring. Recession and high profile issues such as banking collapses and redundancies have exacerbated this issue, as the media has given finance and business more profile but not necessarily helped to increase the public’s understanding of a complex financial system.
This is a question of education, with one of the professionals, from a leading funds association, claiming it was working hard to educate the lay-man about what the industry actually does, and the wider benefits that the industry contributes, through tax receipts, community investment and employment.
Both felt that greater engagement on a regulatory and political level was essential in ensuring policy-makers and politicians, who may not be financial experts, understand and are able to make regulatory changes that genuinely benefit the industries. This can only be achieved by adopting a more combative and engaging approach.
More locally, ‘offshore’ has become a pejorative term, and it seems that jurisdictions, such as Jersey and Guernsey, actually face the same communication and reputational issues as its larger counterparts. Although offshore, arguably, has the even harder task of ensuring that the City itself appreciates the value that business with offshore companies adds to the City.