Lord Mayor to promote economic relationship with Portugal and Spain

The Lord Mayor of the City of London, Charles Bowman, is to visit Portugal and Spain (5-7 March) in efforts to make sure London and the UK remain the regional partner of choice when it comes to financial and professional services.

The Lord Mayor, acting as an ambassador for the UK’s financial and professional services, will meet senior members of the respective governments and business leaders during his three-day visit and marking his only continental business trip during his year in office. He will be accompanied by senior City figures from sectors such as banking, fintech and law.

In Portugal (5 March) the Lord Mayor will meet representatives from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Economy and Ministry of Foreign Affairs and give a speech on fintech collaboration with industry figures in attendance. The country possesses a dynamic innovation sector, which partners well with UK’s fintech offer. There are over 1,000 Portuguese workers in the Square Mile alone.

In Spain (6-7 March), the Lord Mayor will meet representatives from the Ministry of Foreign Affair and Treasury, open and attend a fintech roundtable, update representatives from the British Chamber of Commerce on the latest issues for the City of London on Brexit and speak at a Women in Finance event. He will also give the keynote speech at the National Economic Forum on Wednesday 7 March, addressing an audience of senior business leaders and talking on the subject on the latest implications for the City as a result of Brexit.

Spain is the largest EU27 investor in UK financial services and the Lord Mayor’s meetings will follow-up on the successful State Visit to the UK in 2017. There are nearly 2,000 Spanish-born workers in the City.

Speaking ahead of his trip, Lord Mayor Charles Bowman, said:

“My visit to Portugal and Spain comes at a key time for the City’s ongoing relationship with both countries. We greatly value the impact that Spanish and Portuguese businesses, investors and workers contribute to our economy. I want us to protect and grow that relationship after the UK leaves the European Union and hopefully my visit will help in some way to strengthen these ties.

“In the City, the UK’s financial district, we are continuing to press the case for a trade agreement between the UK and EU27 that includes financial services based on mutual market access. I will reiterate how the City of London is not just the UK’s financial centre, but an asset for all of Europe, helping raise finance, increase its competitiveness on the global stage and trade globally. I will also highlight, whatever deal we end up with in the negotiations, we will remain a hub of creative energy and open to business.

“I will be conveying these points in what I am sure will be productive and highly valued meetings over the course of the next few days.”

Notes to editors

  1. About the Lord Mayor of the City of London
  • The Lord Mayor is head of the Square Mile’s City of London authority for one year and the position is unpaid and apolitical. It is an exceptionally demanding role. The Lord Mayor spends some 100 days abroad and addresses some 10,000 people face-to-face each month (making around 800 speeches a year).
  • The Lord Mayor represents City businesses and helps the City Corporation advise the Government of the day on what is needed to help the financial services sector to function well. The Lord Mayor frequently travels to represent the City; and travels overseas with the status of a Cabinet Minister.
  • The Lord Mayor meets several international Heads of Government and Business each month to discuss financial services, often in conjunction with senior City business representatives. The Lord Mayor lives in the Mansion House for the Mayoral year.
  1. About the City of London Corporation:
  • The City of London Corporation provides local government and policing services for the financial and commercial heart of Britain, the 'Square Mile'. In addition, the City Corporation has three roles:
    • We support London’s communities by working in partnership with neighbouring boroughs on economic regeneration, education and skills. In addition, the City of London Corporation’s charitable funder, City Bridge Trust, makes grants of around £20 million annually to tackle disadvantage across London.
    • We also help look after key London heritage and green spaces including Tower Bridge, the Museum of London, Barbican Arts Centre, City gardens, Hampstead Heath, Epping Forest, Burnham Beeches, and important commons in London.
    • We also support and promote the ‘City’ as a world-leading financial and business hub, with outward and inward business delegations, high-profile civic events and research-driven policies, all reflecting a long-term approach.
  1. See for more details.