Bank and insurance executives have joined forces in their efforts to retain insurance and financial operations in the UK and to sustain London’s place as the world’s leading trading hub.
At TheCityUK conference in London, the first public event hosted by the financial services lobby group since the referendum, chairmen began their defence of London in the aftermath of $45 billion being wiped from the value of companies.
“The capital markets of Europe are not in Paris or Frankfurt -- they are here,” said Barclays Plc Chairman John McFarlane at the conference, as reported by Bloomberg. “Trading should be done where it’s the most efficient and cost-effective. To replicate that quickly is going to be very, very difficult.”
The conference follows on from bank and insurance executives discussing a response at a meeting led by Deutsche Bank and involving companies such as Allianz
SE, Barclays and Credit Suisse.
Among the chief concerns of the executives who employ more than 100,000 across London was the inability to draft contingency plans during such an unstable environment. In particular, executives are keen to see “as much of the passporting preserved as possible” or there is a risk that New York and Asian financial centres could benefit rather than the rest of Europe.
“The most critical thing to preserve is access to the market,” HSBC Holdings Plc Chairman Douglas Flint said at the conference. “We can look forward with some confidence to the opportunities, if we can get the priorities of market access and making sure we can get the talent into London.”
There was some reassurance however, with executives stating that “knee-jerk” staff relocations were unlikely due to the expenses involved and the wholesale withdrawal of passporting rights deemed “damaging to both sides.”
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