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Lord Mayor of City of London Woolf urges liberalization of financial services

TAIPEI -- Taiwan should loosen the restrictions in its financial services sector as the “regulatory regime is very constraining at the moment,” a visiting British official said Wednesday.

“The first step is to liberalize the financial service sector, and to phase out the dual approach of onshore and offshore, which actually other financial service centers don't have,” said Fiona Woolf, Lord Mayor of the City of London.

She said that the way products and services are regulated, for example, is not very efficient.

“It is very unusual for regulators to license products one at a time in great detail,” Woolf. With such a time-consuming process, products may miss the most opportune time to enter the market, she said.

Woolf has been meeting with key political figures and business leaders in Taiwan, hoping to make progress this year on major infrastructure projects to help boost trade between Taiwan and the UK.

The Lord Mayor of the City of London is a political and unpaid position and the legal title of the head of the City of London Corp. Elected last November, Woolf is the second woman to hold the post since 1189. Her major duties include promoting London's business environment and expertise.

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Fiona Woolf, right, Lord Mayor of the City of London, and British Trade and Cultural Office (BTCO) in Taiwan Director Chris Wood answer journalists' questions at a press conference in Taipei, yesterday. (CNA)

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