Top Chinese financier warns Brexit puts London at risk of losing its status as hub for international banks expanding into Europe
Brexit puts London at risk of losing its status as a hub for international banks expanding into Europe, a top Chinese financier has warned.
Sun Yu, Bank of China’s UK chief executive and chairman of the China Chamber of Commerce in Britain, demanded clarity over Brexit, saying businesses like his are racking up costs due to the uncertainty in London.
He said: ‘US banks, Japanese banks, historically have always chosen London as a hub to cover [Europe, the Middle East and Africa] – it is market practice.’
Uncertainty: Sun Yu, Bank of China’s UK chief executive, demanded clarity over Brexit
But a ‘new arrangement’, or ‘no-deal’ Brexit, could present a ‘challenge for the existing business model’, he added. Yu said it is ‘very important for London’ that international banks get certainty on Brexit, adding: ‘Technically the short-term is quite a challenge. Because uncertainty is absolutely a cost and risk to all business. And we are suffering from that.’
Yu said that London can retain its worldwide prominence in financial services, but needs to maintain a ‘reasonable’ and ‘workable’ relationship with the European Union.
He was speaking at a Chinese business summit, organised by the Cheung Kong Graduate School of Business, at the Institute of Directors in London.
Financial firms were angered earlier this month when the Government’s White Paper seemingly put the sector on course for a ‘hard Brexit’, risking tens of thousands of jobs.
Catherine McGuinness, head of the City of London Corporation, said it was a ‘real blow’. She added: ‘With looser trade ties to Europe, the financial and related professional services sector will be less able to create jobs, generate tax and support growth across the wider economy.’