Financial Leaders Group

From Powerbase
Jump to: navigation, search

The Financial Leaders Group (FLG) was formed in 1996 during the negotiations for the Financial Services Agreement (FSA) by the US-based Coalition of Service Industries (CSI) and British Invisibles. The group includes financial leaders from Europe, North America, Japan and Hong Kong representing such banking giants as Barclays, Chase Manhattan, Goldman Sachs, the Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi. FLG broadened support for financial services deregulation and played a key role in reaching the 1997 Financial Services Agreement.[1]

FLG consists of two tiers: a high level group of CEOs and chairpeople of corporations, supported by a Financial Leaders Working Group with lower level corporate executives. FLG relies on the power of this coalition of corporate heavy weights in its high level group to have influence:'The unanimity in the Financial Leaders Group became a message to governments that the US and European financial community wanted meaningful liberalization and a substantial success, and that the negotiators should co-operate to achieve it. The strategy clearly worked.'[2]

The formation of FLG was encouraged by EU Trade Commissioner Leon Brittan. During the negotiations Brittan, who had ‘learned from the negotiations the importance of the American private sector in advising the US administration on deal-making’, encouraged ‘the European private sector to make contact with their counterparts across the Atlantic so as to build up a partnership in favour of a permanent deal.’ [3]

The creation of FLG was also ‘spurred by the World Economic Forum, which has been the catalyst for key international meetings among US and EC negotiators, and business representatives.’[4]



  1. Sharon Beder, Suiting Themselves: How Corporations Drive the Global Agenda, Earthscan, London, 2006, pp. 138-40.
  2. Erik Wesselius, Behind GATS 2000: Corporate Power at Work, Amsterdam, Transnational Institute, May 2002, p. 7
  3. Leon Brittan, A Diet of Brussels: The Changing Face of Europe, London, Little, Brown and Company, 2000, p.131.
  4. Robert Vastine, Hearing on World Trade Organization Singapore Ministerial Meeting, Congress Subcommittee on Trade of the House Committee on Ways and Means, 26 February 1997