The chancellor met with regional bosses for Bank of America Merrill Lynch, JPMorgan, Morgan Stanley, Standard Chartered and Goldman Sachs on Thursday to discuss the fallout from the referendum’s result, which banks had warned could cost the City tens of thousands of jobs.
The executives and Mr Osborne published a joint statement saying they were “determined to work together” to address the challenges thrown up by Britain’s decision to leave the EU. Citigroup’s regional head — who was unable to attend the meeting — later added his name.
The Treasury would not comment on the specifics of the meeting, but two people briefed on the discussions said Mr Osborne and his team told the banks that “where possible, every measure will be deployed to constructively safeguard and protect” the UK’s financial services industry.
He also touched on his plans to cut the corporate tax rate from 20 per cent to 15 per cent, but did not give any indication of when the reduction might be introduced. A banking source pointed out that since most banks have large deferred tax assets, the tax cut is not a major issue for them.
The banks did not make specific commitments to retain operations in London but stressed that their preference was to maintain as much of their existing presence as they could. The Treasury’s own analysis suggested up to 285,000 financial sector jobs were linked to Europe and would be at risk if the UK voted Leave.
The Treasury was unable to offer any reassurance that banks would retain the crucial “passports” they use to access other EU markets from London, but officials said they understood how important these were. [...]
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Statement from the Chancellor and international investment banks on London as a world leading financial centre
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