Icap's Spencer is calling on Cameron to support firms

Click to follow
The Independent Online

Michael Spencer, one of the City's biggest tycoons and a leading Conservative Party donor, has called on the Government to throw its weight more firmly behind business on the eve of the Autumn Statement.

"Partly there is a tone issue," the founder of brokerage Icap said. "I think the Government could do more to be more positively constructive about business, enterprise and investment.

"It needs to deliver on its rhetoric in terms of making the burdens of doing business more straightforward, something they talk a hell of a lot about."

Mr Spencer, whose wealth is measured at more than £500m, is good friends with George Osborne and was once Tory party treasurer, but his frustration at the pace of change is clear.

"The Coalition has been very much like a three-legged race where [David] Cameron and [Nick] Clegg have had their legs tied together," he said. "I think that has deeply hampered decision making."

Icap is preparing for its 20th charity day tomorrow. The event, in which the company donates its revenues for one day as well as traders contributing their commissions, raised nearly £13m a year ago. Mr Spencer hopes the day will provide light relief for the City, which is still suffering from a low reputation with the general public, tense relationship with politicians and uncertainty washing over from the Continent. Jobs are being chopped as banks face up to lower trading activity and forced restructurings from new regulation.

"I would say confidence levels are extremely low and I think it is going to take some while for them to recover," added Mr Spencer. "It would be nice if our political leaders offered a little more constructive rhetoric. They have done a little bit recently but they could do more."