Kwarteng said his attention would immediately focus on minimising the impact of the cost of living crisis

The leaders of insurers, investment firms and major banks were called into the Treasury for talks this morning (7 September 2022) as new chancellor of the exchequer Kwasi Kwarteng took up his position.

Kwarteng was appointed by incoming Conservative prime minister Liz Truss yesterday evening. Previously, he held a cabinet position as secretary of state for business, energy and industrial strategy – he had remained in this position since replacing Alok Sharma on 8 January 2021.

The new tenant of 11 Downing Street used today’s meeting to set out his strategy to ameliorate the cost of living crisis and its impact on households and businesses across the UK.

Attendees to the meeting included the chief executives of insurers Aviva and Legal and General – Amanda Blanc and Nigel Wilson.

Kwarteng today outlined that higher borrowing would be “necessary” in the short term to help people with their energy bills.

Following his meeting with financial leaders this morning, Kwarteng also committed to pursuing “an unashamedly pro-growth agenda”.

In a statement, the Treasury said: “Due to the scale of the gas crisis, the government’s first priority will be to support families and businesses in the immediate term.

“The chancellor was clear that this will mean necessary higher borrowing in the short term whilst ensuring monetary stability and fiscal discipline over the medium term.”

Kwarteng also reiterated his support for the Bank of England and its mission to control inflation – he added that he hopes to “deliver lasting economic growth” by “creating the right conditions for business investment and innovation” and “reducing burdensome regulation and taxes”.