London to remain EU’s finance capital

Jo Knowsley 14 November 2017

Brexit will slow capital’s overall economic growth.

Leaving the EU will not badly impact the prominent business role London plays with other European countries, according to billionaire Michael Bloomberg.

The former New York mayor was backtracking on his previous statement that Brexit was “the single stupidest thing any country has ever done” to concede that the UK capital will still thrive. But he cautioned leaving the EU may slow overall economic growth.

He now claims London will survive Brexit because of its financial attractiveness and told Radio 4’s Today programme: “London is going to be the financial centre of Europe for the foreseeable future.

“It has the things the finance industry needs: it is English speaking, it is family-friendly, it has a lot of cultures so you can attract those people here.”

His comments, reported in the Express, reflect his view that some consumers will be affected by Brexit because some jobs will “move”. And he believes that London will not grow as dramatically as it would have if Brexit was not taking place.

London is home to more global financial services and more banks than any other financial centre in the world.

Bloomberg recently showed his confidence in the capital by placing his company’s new £1billion headquarters in London, with 4,000 employees. There is capacity to add 4,000 more.

He said Brexit had not influenced his commitment to building new offices in London’s financial district for his global data and news business.

He said: “New York and London will be the two big financial centres. New York is the financial centre of the United States, London is the financial centre of Europe and it’s going to stay that way for a long time.”

Bloomberg also addressed rumours surrounding the possibility that he might run for the US presidency in the future – quickly dismissing what he branded as gossip.

For consumers, however, there remain future perils. The twin forces of rising inflation and stagnant wage growth is squeezing the economy and forcing up the costs of living.

A report in Business Insider claimed that weakening UK growth was slowing household consumption in everything from groceries to cars, fridges, TVs and holidays
.
Getting a pay rise has become more difficult. Britain may have a lot of jobs, but few are getting above inflation salaries. There has been an increase in the number of workers paid per job, or ‘gig’, but this work often fails to offer the protection of a salaried position.

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