Speaking at a meeting of the Conservative Political Forum, chaired by John Winchcombe, Dame Judith Mayhew spoke of her responsibilities as Chairman of the Policy and Resources Committee of the City of London. "The City of London is at the heart of Europe, and accounts for a third of all the foreign exchange dealings in the world. Because it is so large and so efficient, it can undercut the other financial centres in Europe"
Dame Judith described some of her current work as trying to remove the protective barriers that other European centres had built to keep out the competition.
She added that New York and London were complementary - after the tragedy of September 11th, the City of London stayed open for up to four days, so the American branches based in the City could continue to operate.
Speaking of the recent Enron and WorldCom scandals, Dame Judith said that accountancy in the US was rule based, whereas ours was principle based. "Rules are easier to get round."
She also pointed out that, in the US, there were many different regulators who did not always liaise with each other, whereas in the UK there was one integrated regulator, the Financial Services Authority.
Judith Mayhew is a qualified lawyer, has been an academic and is active in the City of London in a wide variety of roles including being Chairman of the Policy and Resources Commiffee, Corporation of London, Member of the City of London Police Authority, Chairman of Birkbeck College and City & Business adviser to Ken Livingstone. As such she is well placed to talk on policy and policy making, corporate governance and the City.