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Institutions are preparing to flee UK before Brexit

Staff Writer |
The head of the British Bankers’ Association has warned that financial firms are planning to start leaving London within weeks because of uncertainty about the U.K.’s exit from the European Union.




CEO Anthony Browne said in an article published Sunday that banks fear EU politicians will erect trade barriers with Britain in a bid to undermine the City of London, currently Europe’s pre-eminent financial district.

They also fear U.K.-based financial firms will lose the right to conduct business across the bloc.

Browne wrote in The Observer newspaper that bankers’ “hands are quivering over the relocate button.” He said “many smaller banks plan to start relocations before Christmas; bigger banks are expected to start in the first quarter of next year.”

Browne said tariffs will hurt both Britain and the EU, but that economic arguments might lose out amid hardening political rhetoric from both sides.

He said national governments might “try to use the EU exit negotiations to build walls on the other side of the English Channel to split Europe’s integrated financial market in two, in order to force jobs from London.”


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