Johnson and Sunak summon City chiefs for COVID recovery talks

Boris Johnson will hold talks with the bosses of Britain’s biggest banks and insurers next week as the government seeks assurances about the sector’s commitment to financing the post-pandemic recovery.

Sky News has learnt that the prime minister and Rishi Sunak, the chancellor, have invited more than a dozen of the City’s top executives to a virtual meeting on Monday.

Attendees will include Jes Staley, Barclays chief executive; David Schwimmer, CEO of the London Stock Exchange Group; Anne Richards, chief executive of Fidelity International; and Alison Rose, chief executive of NatWest Group, according to people briefed on the meeting.

City sources said on Friday that the meeting was expected to focus on three principal areas, including the role of the financial services sector in supporting the UK’s economic recovery from the COVID-19 crisis.

The executives have also been briefed to discuss how best to maintain the global competitiveness of Britain’s financial services industry, as well as the UK’s competitiveness in areas such as fintech and green finance, the sources added.


Andrew Bailey, the Bank of England governor, is also expected to take part in the virtual meeting, according to one of the prospective attendees.

The talks will take place against a backdrop of a financial services sector which is adjusting to post-pandemic realities including a shift to permanent hybrid working practices.

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The other CEOs who have been invited are Amanda Blanc of Aviva; Joe Garner from Nationwide; John Neal, who runs Lloyds of London; HSBC Holdings’ Noel Quinn; Nigel Wilson from Legal & General; and Standard Chartered’s Bill Winters.

Ana Botin, the executive chair of Santander; William Chalmers, Lloyds Banking Group’s acting chief executive; Goldman Sachs International chief Richard Gnodde; and JP Morgan executive Daniel Pinto are also expected to attend.

Next week’s G7 summit in Cornwall is expected to progress plans for a more robust approach to taxing some multinational companies, and to advance various policy measures relating to climate change ahead of the COP-26 summit in Glasgow later this year.

Downing Street has been contacted for comment, while none of the companies invited to the talks and which were contacted by Sky News would comment.