London finds a new sense of balance

Sushil Saluja, head of Accenture's financial services operating group in the UK, believes the City will respond innovatively to new post-credit crunch realities.

by Matthew Gwyther

Matthew Gwyther: There is a broad perception that the difficulties we find ourselves in as a nation are partly down to the institution of the City and its dominance within our economy. Some adjustments surely have to be made. You have long experience of the workings of the City. Do you think it will continue to thrive in the post-crisis era?

Sushil Saluja: I started working in the City around the time of the Big Bang in the late 1980s, when the London Stock Exchange was de-regulated. A huge amount of change has gone on since, but the constants remain the same. Indeed, if you go right back to the City's origins - the famous 18th-century coffee houses - the fundamentals that helped make London successful as a financial centre are still present today. I think there are three key areas: innovation, talent and trust.

London is a place where it's easy to do business and where people are creative. It knows how to pull together many different strands of business: providing greater access to capital, funding innovation, opening up new industries and creating jobs. In addition, I think the educational system continues to be a major advantage for London to attract talented people. Those who choose to relocate and bring their families here have access to world-class education. This coupled with the language and the time-zone advantage means that London has continued to be an attractive place for people to live, work and do business.

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