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Banker on EU deal

Brexit is ‘opportunity for UK to define its own agenda’

Jes Staley: focus on New York and Singapore

Brexit Britain has been given a vote of confidence by the head of Barclays Bank who says the UK financial services industry should focus on competing with the US and Asia rather than the EU.

Jes Staley, CEO, Staley said in an interview that Brexit gives one of the UK’s most important sectors the chance to define its own agenda.

“I think Brexit is more than likely on the positive side than on the negative side,” he said.

“What London needs to be focused on is not Frankfurt, not Paris, it needs to be focused on New York and Singapore.

“Brexit gives the UK the opportunity to define its own agenda and in defining that agenda around financial services, staying competitive with other markets outside of Europe is really what the government here should be focused on.”

He said some jobs and capital had moved from the UK as a result of Brexit but the impact had been modest.

Yes, there are some jobs that are going to Europe, that otherwise would have been in the UK, but it’s in the hundreds. Barclays employs some 50,000 people in the United Kingdom roughly 20,000 outside of the UK and 10,000 in the US,” he said.

“Some amount of capital has moved but London is still obviously the main centre for Barclays.”

Financial services has yet to secure a deal with the EU over new trading arrangements, but analysts say that the sector has been preparing for the change since the referendum result.

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