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Financial Services

Volume 724: debated on Thursday 15 December 2022

2. What steps her Department is taking to increase trade opportunities for the financial services sector. (902795)

The Department for International Trade is absolutely committed to increasing trade opportunities for the UK financial services sector. Through our network of in-market sector specialists located in Europe, India, Singapore and beyond, the Department is identifying and removing market access barriers and supporting companies to export their services to the world. Working with organisations such as the City of London, the Investment Association and others, we are promoting the UK’s world-class financial services overseas. We are also championing financial services through our free trade agreements.

I thank my right hon. Friend for raising that sector, which is hugely important to the UK economy and a major export generator. Our export strategy, which we published last year, outlines the Government support available for British exporters, including the financial services sector. The strategy updates the Department’s support for services firms and helps to give businesses and financial tech innovators the flexibility and resilience to thrive and trade globally. As well as providing large amounts of online support and information, including webinars, the Department provides tailored support services—for example, through trade advisers—from which firms of all sizes can benefit.

If we are to increase trade opportunities for the financial services sector, does the Minister agree that we must deal with the prevalence of money laundering for Russian kleptocrats, which has earned London the nickname “Londongrad”? Does he believe that we need to ensure that we can tackle such illegal activity in the City?

The hon. Gentleman makes an important point and, of course, that is exactly what we are doing. The Government are very aware of the issues and, with the support of the whole House, have taken robust action on sanctions against Russia, and will continue to do so.