Saturday 24 February 2018

Top bankers meet Osborne in his fight to save the City

UK Chancellor George Osborne
UK Chancellor George Osborne

Simon Kennedy and John Follain

Executives of the biggest US investment banks met British Chancellor George Osborne in a push to maintain London's status as a premier financial hub after UK voters decided to split from the European Union.

The gathering in which Mr Osborne sought to highlight the UK's comparative strengths included Goldman Sachs Group's Michael Sherwood, Robert Rooney of Morgan Stanley, Alex Wilmot-Sitwell of Bank of America, Bill Winters of Standard Chartered and JPMorgan's Viswas Raghavan.

The government and industry shared "a common aim to help London retain its position as the leading international finance centre", according to a joint statement. "Britain's decision to leave the EU clearly presents economic challenges, which we are determined to work together to meet."

The London meeting underscored the risk of job losses in the industry, which employs over two million in the UK.

JPMorgan may relocate "a few thousand" employees if the country's divorce settlement with the EU hurts banks, chief executive Officer Jamie Dimon told Italy's 'Il Sole-24 Ore'.

Almost one in nine of US investment banks' EU staff are located in the UK, according to New Financial, a think tank. The post-referendum stresses are starting to show in markets and the economy.

Beijing-based Lenovo Group, the world's biggest personal-computer maker, said on Wednesday it is considering price hikes to counter the falling pound and economic uncertainty caused by the Brexit vote.

The worries intensify pressure on the successor to UK Prime Minister David Cameron to strike the best deal with the rest of the EU. (Bloomberg)

Irish Independent

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