Posted by News Express | 15 October 2016 | 2,522 times
The French finance minister, Michel Sapin, has said that US banks have told him they will move some activities out of Britain to other European countries in the wake of the referendum decision to leave the EU.
Sapin said that until now US banks had adopted a wait-and-see approach towards their British investments.
“For them, until now, the question was ‘will Brexit take place? Will it really be implemented? You talk about two years but maybe it will last three or four years?’
“That’s over now, there’s no more of that,” the minister, who visited Washington last week, told a news conference in Paris.
“It’s no longer ‘will there be’ or ‘if’ there’s a Brexit. It’s ‘there will be a Brexit in two years and after two years we will have to take decisions’.”
As European Council president Donald Tusk warned the UK government that so-called “hard Brexit” was the country’s only option, Sapin said some banks had already decided “activities will be transferred to the continent”.
“Those are their words, not mine,” he said, adding calling it an “inevitable outcome, whatever the result of the Brexit negotiations” between London and Brussels.
Paris is among several cities hoping to woo London-based financial institutions if banks do decide to base themselves elsewhere in Europe to safeguard their euro business.
Sapin said France was working on a plan to promote Paris as a future financial capital.
A senior policymaker at the Bank of England warned this week that the loss of high-paid banking jobs from the UK could knock a hole in the country’s budget.
Anil Kashyap said the UK would lose out from taxes paid by City workers if jobs moved out of the capital as a result of a hard Brexit.
Morgan Stanley has warned that Brexit could restrict the talent pool available to UK employers, Bloomberg reported.
Carmen Nuzzo, a senior economist at the bank in London, wrote in a note to clients on Wednesday that “the biggest threat comes from potential migration restrictions that could harm international collaboration and the U.K. attractiveness for talent,” she wrote. “This is a long-term risk but one that could increase the more the UK government prioritises immigration control over single market access. International collaboration is key to academic and corporate sector research.”
•Sourced from The Guardian (London). Photo shows British PM Theresa May.
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