Home » Britain’s begging tech giants to list in London. Good luck with that.

Britain’s begging tech giants to list in London. Good luck with that.

James Alexander, chief executive of the U.K. Sustainable Investment and Finance Association (UKSIF), said strong governance standards and safeguards for shareholders are part of London’s success.

“The notion that certain companies with particularly poor human rights practices and sustainability credentials could choose London as a listings destination will not help to make us more competitive in the long run,” he said.

The question of company listings triggers bigger questions about the future of the City, with a whiff of protectionism about the Conservative government’s current efforts to lure companies.

Jeremy Hunt wants to strong-arm homegrown companies, especially tech firms, to stay put. | Rob Pinney/Getty Images

Before Brexit, the U.K. advocated for open financial markets as London hoovered up business.

But now, Hunt wants to strong-arm homegrown companies, especially tech firms, to stay put. And, the Chancellor wants to force pension funds to drive more money into the U.K. stock market rather than deploy it wherever they think best globally.

For some, that muddies the vision for London as a global financial center. “Is it about getting bums on seats in the U.K.?” said Sheila Nicoll, an industry veteran, and former head of public policy at U.K. fund manager Schroders.