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07 November 2017

Financial Times: Wall Street warns Trump team of Brexit ‘point of no return’

A group of large financial institutions with big London operations, led by Wall Street’s biggest banks, have told the US commerce secretary that Britain’s unstable government and slow progress in Brexit planning may force them to start moving thousands of jobs out of the City in the near future.

The warnings came on Friday during a closed-door meeting between executives from the banks, which included JPMorgan Chase, Goldman Sachs and HSBC, and Wilbur Ross, the US commerce secretary, during his visit to London, according to people briefed on the discussions.

Those briefed on the talks, which were held over lunch at Wiltons restaurant in St James’s, said the banks were particularly concerned by the failure of Britain to provide clarity over whether it will secure a transition deal to smooth the changing regulatory regime after it leaves the EU. They warned they had even less clarity over what a final Brexit deal will look like.

Without clarity from the government about its plans once the UK has left the EU, the executives said jobs would move back to the US or to other European capitals as banks begin to carry out their worst-case contingency plans, the sources said.

[...]But the warnings in private meetings with Mr Ross as well as similar soundings taken by the City of London Corporation, the capital’s local government, on a fact-finding mission to Wall Street and Washington, showed a level of urgency not seen in previous criticisms, those present said.

The banks warned Mr Ross that a “point of no return” is fast approaching, when they must start moving jobs, capital and infrastructure to meet the March 2019 deadline for the UK leaving the EU if no transitional deal is secured. [...]

Full article on Financial Times (subscription required)

© Financial Times

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