London's battered banking sector seeks to repair image

The body that promotes the UK's financial services industry has called in PR help to ­rebuild the sector's battered reputation.

Anger: protesting over City bankers
Anger: protesting over City bankers

In the week that protesters attacked London banks in ­angry scenes, the International Financial Services London (IFSL) has turned to Weber Shandwick Financial.

The move marks the first time the body has brought in a ret­ained PR agency. The revelation came as the focus of the international media was firmly fixed on the City of London, with ­reform of international financial regulations top of the agenda at the G20.

Anti-globalisation protesters turned their fire on City institutions on Wednesday, with protesters storming a branch of state-controlled Royal Bank of Scotland.

Juliet Carey, director and co-head of financial services at WS, said: ‘There may have been bad things done by the financial services sector, but equally it is an extremely important part of UK plc.’

She added: ‘Without financial services, our country and its economy would be considerably poorer.  The sector needs to be supported and promoted because it will be one of the key drivers in getting the economy out of this recession.’

IFSL, the private sector partner of UK Trade & Investment and the Corporation of the City of London, is working to grow the UK’s financial services abroad and liberalise ­international regulation.

The trade body is also determined to expand its membership by promoting UK financial services to international businesses and influencing the debate about the industry by championing free trade.

IFSL co-authored a letter to the G20 on 12 March with 13 other international bodies voicing their commitment to trade liberalisation.

The WS financial team will be aided by its public affairs arm to help IFSL influence key decision-makers in London, Brussels and Washington.


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Anger on the streets

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