City of London grandee Sir Michael Snyder today told a MIPIM audience that the world must not 'retreat into protectionism'.

With the global financial crisis tempting some world leaders to erect trade barriers, Snyder said London and New York must resist this trend.

'London and. New.York have a responsibility to ensure the international financial architecture resists a retreat into protectionism', he said.

He insisted London has a strong underlying framework which will be improved despite the recession by Crossrail, more retail in the City and less of an over supply of offices than in the last recession.

Speaking at the same London Stand event, the London School of Economics' Professor Tony Travers echoed Snyder's stance on protectionism.

'There is a need to avoid political over-reaction' he said, 'whether that is through protectionism, over-regulation or flawed tax regimes'