London to eclipse bloc and will STILL be ‘dominant financial hub in Europe’, say experts

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And another has said the Square Mile is a “global market” which has a reach far beyond any markets on the continent. William Wright, managing director of the New Financial think tank, was speaking in the wake of Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s bullish Mansion House speech earlier this month, in which he said freedom from EU rules and regulations had left the UK free to “do things differently”.

Mr Wright told the Marketplace website the situation was without its challenges.

He said: “More than 400 firms have relocated some staff and some assets to the EU in order to guarantee future market access and future access to EU clients.

“We estimate that something like $1.2trillion in bank assets has been transferred from the UK to the EU or is being transferred.”

That amounted to 10 percent of the UK’s banking system, he said.

Mr Wright predicted as many as 35,000 jobs in the City could be affected – in other words, relocated from London or created in the EU as opposed to the capital – as a result of Brexit.

Nevertheless, he emphasised the figure only represented 10 percent of the number of people employed in international financial services in the City.

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London will continue to be far and away the biggest, the dominant financial centre in Europe

William Wright

He added: “The City has been dented, bruised, damaged, but it’s not a terminal event.

“London will continue to be far and away the biggest, the dominant financial centre in Europe, but perhaps as a result of Brexit, over time it won’t necessarily continue to be the dominant financial centre for Europe.

“More European business will spread around centres like Frankfurt, Paris, Dublin and Luxembourg.”

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Brexiteer Daniel Hodson, the former head of the London International Financial Futures and Options Exchange, and the chairman of advocacy group City United Project, was similarly confident.

He said: “The City is a global market.

“It deals in many, many currencies, many, many products, and it has depth which goes far beyond any of the markets on the continent of Europe.”

Referring to London having freed itself from the regulatory control of Brussels, Mr Hodson added: “We think it’s cleared the way for a global City to reestablish its position as one of the leading financial centres in the world alongside New York City.”

During his speech to City leaders, Mr Sunak said: “We now have the freedom to do things differently and better, and we intend to use it fully.

“Now we are moving forward.

“We need this industry to succeed. You contribute £76billion in tax each year, enough to pay for our entire police force and our entire state school system.

“You have been a lifeline through the pandemic, providing millions of mortgage holidays, billions of pounds of business loans and with frontline staff keeping thousands of branches open in the most difficult of circumstances.

“I feel optimistic about our future, with a plan to make this country the world’s most exciting financial services hub for decades to come.”

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