The City of London, a small swatch of land in the heart of the metropolis, has for centuries been run by a local government known as the City of London Corporation. “This little government does more than just run schools and collect what the Brits call rubbish,” Dan Bobkoff explains. “It’s a stealth power.”
Despite having fewer than 7,500 resident constituents, the City of London Corporation holds about $2 billion in its coffers. It also has a troubling relationship with the financial institutions that dominate its geography.
Approximately 300,000 people commute into the City of London each day, most headed for firms like JPMorgan Chase and Bank of China. The City allows those companies to appoint representatives to vote in local elections. It also spends money and time promoting business interests abroad.
East End vicar Father William Taylor is an outspoken critic of the City’s relationship to the finance industry. He and other reformers have been working to change the City’s special status for the last several years, against fierce pushback from local officials.