Friday Dec 08, 2017
BRUSSELS: Britain's City of London financial hub centre "will not fall apart" after Brexit even if it loses the right to allow banks to trade freely across the bloc, Eurogroup chief Jeroen Dijsselbloem said Thursday.
Dijsselbloem — the Netherlands finance minister who chairs meetings of his counterparts in the 19-country eurozone — said some businesses would nevertheless have to relocate.
"Obviously, the City is the financial centre for Europe and I think it will remain one of the financial centres of the world," said Djisselbloem, who is due to be replaced by Portugal's Mario Centeno in January.
"I don't believe that the City will fall apart and that everyone will flee. I don't think that's how it's going to work," he told a European Parliament committee.
His reassurances come at a time when Britain's finance sector is anxious about losing the "passporting" rights which allow large international banks to trade throughout the EU while being based in Britain.
"I do think that simply due to regulation and access to markets, activities will be moved and this is ongoing, but not to the size that many people had hoped or expected," added Dijsselbloem.
EU Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier warned last month that Britain would lose its passporting rights and that even if it agreed to align with EU rules, things would never be the same as they were while Britain was a member.