Britain’s exit from the European Union will not affect London’s leading role in global finance but is instead likely to create a great opportunity for the City of London to focus more on other areas, including emerging markets, Lord Mayor Andrew Parmley said March 16.
“Brexit will not affect London’s leading role in the world’s financing sector. In 1666, during the big London fire, many people said London would never trade again, but it started to trade again just two years later. Brexit is never an obstacle for us, but a great opportunity to boost ties with non-EU markets, such as emerging markets,” he told a group of journalists on the sidelines of the Istanbul TALKS Islamic Finance 2017 Summit.
Parmley noted bankers and insurers had considered the situation very carefully, but most of them signaled to stay in London.
“If they will have to move some of their business to Europe, this will be very small and temporary, they have told us. They also said they planned to come back to London as soon as possible,” he said, adding that other financial centers cannot offer as many attractions as London does.
“London is in a strong position,” Parmley said.
He said around 8,000 residents lived in the Square Mile, but the area hosts over 450,000 employees every day, adding the figure is expected to hit over 575,000 by 2030.
Three issues are of great importance for the City of London during this period, according to him, access to the single market, EU’s financial “passport” system, which allows UK-headquartered firms to do business across the bloc, and the access to talent.
According to Parmley, Istanbul can be a financial hub as long as there is political will and a strong legal and regulatory framework, among others.
The enhancement of access to other financial centers, access to global clients, access to professional services, highly qualified human resources who know English very well, a robust physical infrastructure, a business environment based on the rule of law and attractive housing, entertainment and educational opportunities need to be offered by a city to become a financial center, he added.
London will boost its ties with Istanbul in the upcoming period, especially in the field of Islamic finance, according to British representatives.
They also praised the country’s major infrastructure projects.