At least one man thinks that Brexit will not erode London’s status as Europe’s financial capital.
There is no shortage of dialogue and predictions relating to the UK’s financial services industry in the wake of a Brexit from Europe. While many lenders and individuals have publicly portended and charted headwinds and risks, Lloyds Banking Group’s Chairman Lord Blackwell has maintained a more reserved stance, shooting down any notion of a wholesale collapse of the industry.
As the financial capital of Europe and one of the primary nexuses in the Western world, London, and in a broader sense the UK, stands to be shaken up by a potentially harsh Brexit. With the triggering of Article 50 and the rescinding of passporting rights for lenders and companies, many worry that the move could trigger an exodus of talent, jobs, and investment.
Lord Blackwell doesn’t see grounds for any “Jenga tower” collapse however, which runs counter to the opinion of another banking executive, HSBC Chairman Douglas Flint. Flint has gone on record mapping out the litany of risks seen with Brexit, which has already caused heavy job losses in the UK. Lenders such as Deutsche Bank and Standard Chartered have let employees go by the thousands with additional cuts scheduled on the horizon.
And yet, Blackwell has taken a more calming stance, ultimately seeing no plausibility in a wholesale collapse. The opinion is shared by many, given the maturity and scale of the UK’s financial services industry. Undoubtedly, there will be some level of transition, but whether or not the industry will escape this period totally unscathed or crippled beyond repair is simply a matter of conjecture. The reality will likely be somewhere between the two.
Lord Blackwell has been pro-Brexit, explaining: “Rather than a Jenga tower, I think of a Tower of London, with deep foundations.” Reiterating the UK’s strength in this space, he cited such pillars as London’s legal system, expertise, and infrastructure.
Source: Finance Magnates