Corporate Finance

U.S. Banks Offer Support for London as Financial Center

The pledges come following concerns for the U.K. economy in the wake of the Brexit referendum.
Christopher HosfordJuly 7, 2016

Four major U.S. investment banks pledged to help London maintain its position as the world’s leading financial center, despite shaky prospects following last month’s referendum by the U.K. to leave the European Union.

Executives of Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan, and Morgan Stanley issued a joint statement together with George Osborne, Britain’s chancellor of the exchequer, in support of London. The statement acknowledged the economic challenges posed by the Brexit vote, but signatories pledged to “work together to identify the new opportunities that may now become available so that Britain remains one of the most attractive places in the world to do business.”

The U.S. banks were joined in the statement by the U.K.’s Standard Chartered Bank, which focuses on Asia, Africa, and the Middle East.

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“One of Britain’s key economic strengths is that it is a world leading financial centre,” according to the statement. “It has one of the most stable legal systems in the world, a brilliant workforce and deep, liquid capital markets unmatched anywhere else in Europe, all of which are underpinned by world class regulators.”

The bankers also recognized London’s leadership role as a global hub for the currencies of China and India, green finance, Islamic finance, financial investments aimed at sustainable development projects and initiatives, and the development of such sectors as financial technology.

“Today we met and agreed that we would work together to build on all this with a common aim to help London retain its position as the leading international financial centre,” the statement concluded.

In addition to Osborne, signatories to the statement included Michael Sherwood, vice chairman and co-CEO, Goldman Sachs; Alex Wilmot-Sitwell, president, EMEA, Bank of America Merrill Lynch; Robert Rooney, CEO, Morgan Stanley; Viswas Raghavan, deputy CEO and EMEA head of investment banking, JPMorgan; and Bill Winters, group chief executive, Standard Chartered.